- The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Rivian to delay the introduction of the new R1T and R1S until 2021
- New electric truck and SUV were scheduled to be unveiled in late 2020
The highly anticipated debut of Rivian R1T electric pickup and R1S electric SUV has been pushed to 2021 because of the current coronavirus pandemic. The Chicago Tribune was the first to report the delay after speaking with Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast.
Rivian was in the process of converting an old Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois for production when the COVID-19 epidemic struck. Workers were sent home on March 18 and there’s no indication of when they will be able to return to work. Illinois currently has over 13,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus and has a stay-at-home order in place. All non-essential businesses are closed which has prevented Rivian from beginning production.
Rivian was on a roll before the COVID-19 outbreak after securing significant investments from Ford, Amazon, and T.Rowe Price, among others. It’s Rivian R1T pickup features a fully electric quad-motor system that delivers up to 750 horsepower, 11,500 pounds of towing capacity, 400 miles of range and a 0-60 mph time of 3.0 seconds. The Rivian R1S SUV had similar specs with a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds.
Pricing for the R1T pickup was set at $69,000 while the R1S SUV was priced at $72,500.
Rivian’s 300 workers were set to begin to produce both models this year as well as 100 electric delivery vehicles for Amazon. The plant is currently staffed by a maintenance team and contractors that are continuing the conversion while maintaining social distancing norms. On a brighter note, Rivian says it is continuing to pay its workers despite the shutdown.