EV startup Rivian's highly anticipated R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV won't reach the market in late 2020 as planned due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The 400-plus-mile battery-electric vehicles, which were first shown at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, will now arrive in 2021, Amy Mast, a spokeswoman for Rivian, told Chicago Tribune in an email Monday.
Rivian was in the process of retooling a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois, but had to send workers home on March 18 after ongoing stay-at-home orders were put in place to deal with the pandemic. A video released on April 1 shows the progress Rivian has made in transforming the plant which was last used to build the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
The company is taking measures to help minimize the disruption. For example, a handful of contractors are still able to work on retooling the plant. Most of Rivian's 300 staff are at home, though. Mast told Chicago Tribune that all Rivian employees, including hourly workers, are being paid in full during the temporary shutdown.
Rival EV startup Lucid Motors said last week that it has delayed the reveal of its Air sedan but will still be able to start production on time. The Air is slated to enter production at a newly constructed plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, in late 2020.
Rivian has been one of the more successful players in the EV startup space. The company has managed to raise billions from the likes of Amazon, Cox Automotive and Ford, and it has also received orders for future vehicles from Amazon and Ford. Rivian is set to build delivery vehicles for Amazon and an SUV for Ford's Lincoln division.