EV-start-up Rivian surpasses Tesla, GM, Ford as first car manufacturer to produce electric pickup

Rivian R1T electric truck

Source: Rivian

EV-start-up Rivian is the first vehicle manufacturer to bring an electric pickup to the consumer market, beating Tesla, General Motors and others in what is expected to be a highly contested segment in the years to come.

Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe on Tuesday tweeted that the company’s first R1T pickup for a customer kicked off the assembly line this morning at its plant in Normal, Ill.

“After months of pre-production vehicle construction, this morning our first customer vehicle cleared our production line in Normal! The collective efforts of our team have made this moment possible,” he said. “We can’t wait to put these in the hands of our customers!”

Photos tweeted by Scaringe show workers cheering with several R1Ts at the assembly line.

A Rivian spokeswoman confirmed that the vehicles being produced are for sale. She declined to discuss the company’s plans for ramp-up production, including how many trucks have been produced today, and who will be the first customers to receive the vehicles.

The start of production, which has been delayed several times, comes weeks after the company backed by Amazon- and Ford Motor has submitted a confidential draft of a registration form for an IPO.

Rivian is estimated to be the first of a handful of automakers to produce an electric pickup by next year. GM is scheduled for this coming fall with the GMC Hummer EV pickup, potentially followed next year by start-up EV Lordstown Motors, Ford and then Tesla, which recently postponed deliveries of its Cybertruck from this year to the end of 2022.

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