Rivian CEO provides video walkthrough of electric-truck factory


by Kivi



Rivian is making steady progress toward the start of production of its electric pickup trucks and SUVs, a video released by the company Tuesday showed.

In the roughly three-minute video, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe provides a walkthrough of the company’s Normal, Illinois, factory. Formerly owned by Mitsubishi, the factory has been outfitted with equipment and is beginning to stock parts for the Rivian R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV.

Some of those parts are shipped in containers made of plastic salvaged from oceans, and which can themselves be recycled, Scaringe noted.

The body shop and assembly line still appear mostly empty, but the full complement of equipment will be installed this fall, Scaringe said. That will include robots painted the same shade of blue available on the R1T.

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T

Rivian provided a look at the factory earlier this spring, and things are looking much busier in there now.

In July it announced that deliveries of its trucks would be delayed to summer 2021. That’s a delay of approximately six months from when they were originally due, but isn’t surprising given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its effect on factory preparations.

As Rivian moves more of its workforce to California for development and Illinois for manufacturing, it’s reducing its workforce in Michigan, where most of the original development work on the R1T and R1S was done.

Rivian has raised $5.3 billion since early 2019—giving the automaker a budget that suggests logistics, suppliers, and people are the limitation in getting the plant ready in time, but probably not money.

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