With supply chain disruptions wreaking havoc on the automotive industry, it’s a notably difficult time for startups like Rivian. After notice of production issues due to part shortages in early December, the Illinois-based electric truck manufacturer informed some customers on Tuesday that they would have to wait another year, until 2023, for their preorders to be delivered.
The delay affects deliveries of Rivian R1T (truck) and R1S (SUV) models equipped with Max battery packs, which offer a 400-mile range on a single charge. According to an email sent to customers by Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and posted on Reddit, these account for about 20% of Rivian preorders. The remaining preorders are for vehicles equipped with the Large pack, which provides a range of approximately 315 miles.
Rivian’s CEO said, “for them to serve the largest number of preorder holders, they will prioritize building the Adventure Package with large pack battery during the next year. Explore Package preorders and vehicles with a Max pack battery configuration will follow in 2023,”
Rivian has also planned a more minimal battery package with a lower range than the large pack battery, though this has yet to materialize. The postponement of smaller battery sizes is reminiscent of a strategy used by Tesla during its early vehicle models.
Scaringe acknowledges that the additional wait will be inconvenient for customers, some of whom have waited since 2018. “We appreciate your loyalty and commitment and will contact you in January to ascertain your interest in redesigning to an Adventure Package with Large pack battery so that you can take delivery in 2022.”
Rivian customers will be able to track delivery dates via their Rivian accounts while they wait.
Rivian reported its first quarterly earnings results earlier this month. Scaringe explained production demands such as chip shortages, other global supply chain constraints, the pandemic, and a tight labor market.
As of mid-December, Rivian had approximately 71,000 orders for the R1T and R1S SUV models in the United States, and Canada Rivian has delivered nearly 400 vehicles to date. It continues to manufacture delivery vans for Amazon at the Normal plant, and production of the SUV is expected to begin early next year.