The R1T and R1S aren't enough.
Things are finally moving ahead nicely for Rivian. The all-electric vehicle automaker whose backers include Amazon and Ford has finally begun production of its first model, the Rivian R1T. Deliveries will begin shortly (if not already) and the R1S SUV isn't far behind. Oh, and it'll soon issue an $80 billion IPO. But owning a Rivian will be much more than driving it around town but rather an entire experience. There's the upcoming Rivian Adventure Network, a chain of charging stations strategically located for outdoor enthusiasts.
Put it like this: there won't be any Tesla chargers to be found. And so far, the R1T has drawn nothing but stellar reviews, including our own. All in all, things are looking great for Rivian, but there's more to the Rivian story than most know.
Bloomberg reports that Rivian's real priority isn't so much the R1T, R1S, or its outdoor charging network, but rather its contract with Amazon. Not only is the e-commerce giant a major investor, but it's also due to receive a fleet of electric delivery vans from Rivian. Inside sources "familiar with the plan" have revealed Rivian's main focus is making sure to deliver the first 300 vans by the end of the year.
By the end of 2022, it must reach 10,000 vans. It's contractually obligated to hit 100,000 units before the decade ends. What's interesting is that the latter figure isn't so much a goal but rather the beginning of an even greater number of units.
"You can safely assume 100,000 vans is not really the objective," said one source reportedly familiar with the contract. "If Amazon really wants to change over their fleet - because how else are they going to become carbon neutral - then you can imagine the size of the order and how big it will be."
Now, here's the kicker: as part of its deal with Rivian, Jeff Bezos and Amazon can still shop around for so-called "Prime Vans." Rivian isn't the only game in town that can build EV vans. Knowing full well there's competition out there, Rivian knows it must exceed all production expectations and then some.