Rivian can now focus on ramping up its Quad-Motor vehicle production, but we also have some bad news about the Tank Turn.
Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian has announced that the first customer-bound 600-horsepower Dual-Motor R1T Truck has rolled off its production line. This is a momentous occasion for the fledgling automaker, as the Dual-Motor R1T is the first vehicle fitted with Rivian's in-house Enduro drive unit if you don't count the commercial vans that began production in February. More importantly, this development will allow Rivian to ramp up production of Quad-Motor vehicles.
The automaker announced that deliveries of the new Dual-Motor R1 vehicles, presumably including the R1S SUV, will begin in June, bringing an end to the long wait that early reservation holders have had to endure.
In addition, Rivian just teased its smaller R2 SUV in an Instagram Q&A, which appears as a YouTube video further down in this article.
Unfortunately, it's not all good news. While the shape and size of the R2 SUV have been revealed, the Tank Turn feature that stole several headlines for the company has now been scrapped, with CEO RJ Scaringe revealing that Rivian has been pondering the integration of the feature over the last 18 months. The reason given for killing off the feature is a curious one, however.
It's not that the technology is poorly developed or prohibitively expensive. Instead, Scaringe says that he and his team are worried that owners could use the system to destroy nature, which goes against the "way we approach respecting the trails."
While Rivian's respect for the environment is admirable, we think this may be a poor move. With so many electric pickups on sale and on the way, Rivian's premium EVs need all the help they can get to stand out. Moreover, several of these rivals have introduced or are working on systems very similar to Rivian's Tank Turn, and we doubt any of them will delete the tech to appear more socially responsible. As a result, some potential Rivian customers may decide that other automakers offer a more complete package.
Time will tell how customers react to this news, but removing features is happening fairly often at Rivian after the discontinuation of the powered tonneau cover, the temporary suspension of the Camp Kitchen and Gear Tunnel, and the closing of its beta membership package.
At least Rivian seems to be making progress with the production of several previously announced vehicle configurations and further development on new offerings.