The era of the all-electric pickup truck has drawn a great deal closer today, with the very first vehicle rolling off the production line at Rivian’s factory in Illinois, as revealed by CEO RJ Scaringe on Twitter. The arrival of the R1T comes just a few years after the EV-startup introduced its first models, and sees Rivian beat a couple of other key players in the space to the punch.
“After months of building pre-production vehicles, this morning our first customer vehicle drove off our production line in Normal!” Scavinge posted on Twitter. “Our team’s collective efforts have made this moment possible. Can’t wait to get these into the hands of our customers!”
Though it was founded back in 2009, Rivian waited until the 2018 LA Auto Show to really make its mark on the world, introducing the R1T as a so-called Electric Adventure Vehicle, along with the R1S sports utility.
And adventure remained a big part of the company’s DNA as it moved into production in the years since. Pre-production R1Ts were deployed on a grueling 13,000-mile (20,000-km) road trip through South and Central America as part of the documentary Long Way Up, and the company is plotting an “Adventure Network” of EV chargers, beginning with installations at state parks in Colorado.
It also paid Overland Expo West a visit in 2019 with a modified R1T packing a roof-top tent and slide-out electric kitchen, and earlier this year launched the Rivian Adventure Gear line. This brings these sorts of outdoor-oriented add-ons to the automaker’s online configurator, allowing customers to deck out their electric adventure campers as they see fit.
Back at the office, meanwhile, the company has been raking in considerable investments, most notably from Amazon, which also signed an agreement to buy 100,000 trucks from the automaker to use for deliveries. This customized delivery van was revealed in October last year, and then took to the streets of LA in February as part of a testing program along selected routes.
After months of building pre-production vehicles, this morning our first customer vehicle drove off our production line in Normal! Our team’s collective efforts have made this moment possible. Can’t wait to get these into the hands of our customers! pic.twitter.com/8ZidwTaXRI
— RJ Scaringe (@RJScaringe) September 14, 2021
The sold-out R1T launch edition comes with a large 135-kWh battery pack and an official EPA range of 314 miles (505 km). The first deliveries were originally slated for earlier this year and then pushed back to July. With the first units now on their way to customers, the R1T makes it to market ahead of the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning, which is expected in the US spring of 2022, and the Tesla Cybertruck, now not expected until late next year.