Rivian R1T, R1S EV launches delayed due to coronavirus pandemic

Delayed, unfortunately.


The list of vehicle launches and automotive events affected by the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, continues to grow. This time, it’s electric vehicle startup Rivian.

The Chicago Tribune first reported on Monday that the Rivian R1T pickup won’t reach customers until 2021. Rivian confirmed the delay with Roadshow. Production was originally slated to start in late 2020 with the first R1T and R1S SUVs set for delivery shortly thereafter. 

“The world has changed a lot in these last few weeks,” a representative said. “We’ve shut down all Rivian facilities to protect our team and to help slow the spread of COVID-19. While this situation has required us to redefine workflows and rethink the ways we collaborate, it hasn’t stopped us from making progress.”

News of the launch delay follows Rivian’s announcement last month that it would suspend operations at its facility in Normal, Illinois. Rivian previously bought a former Mitsubishi plant to produce its first electric vehicles, but the COVID-19 pandemic left the company with no choice but to halt all preproduction efforts. Rivian recently rode a wave of big-name investments from Ford and Amazon. The company will lend its EV platform for a Lincoln vehicle, and it has a purpose-built electric Amazon delivery van in the works.

Rivian is hardly the only automaker affected. Nearly every major automaker has confirmed production shutdowns in the US — recent data shows the pandemic has taken 93% of all US auto production offline.

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