Because trucks matter most in America.
We learned last month that Rivian delayed customer deliveries of its highly anticipated R1T until September. Originally, this was supposed to happen in June. The reason, not unexpectedly, was due to the semiconductor chip shortage that's affecting automakers across the world. But Rivian appears to be sticking to its new schedule and now, according to a recent statement from CEO and founder RJ Scaringe, via Electrek, the company is ready to begin R1T production but still requires one thing: US government approval.
"I am excited to report we have started producing vehicles that reflect all of our quality iterations and design refinements," he wrote in a statement.
"We are currently working with various governing agencies on the final approvals needed for us to make the first deliveries to preorder customers in September."
The suspected government agencies involved here are likely the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the EPA. With production about to get fully underway and deliveries very shortly thereafter, another essential element is also ready to go. Owners will require service centers to handle a wide variety of issues, whether it's a defect or simply questions about how the vehicle works. Fortunately, Scaringe confirmed the automaker has got customers' backs.
"Rivian Service Centers are now in operation in Brooklyn, NY; Bellevue, WA; Normal, IL; San Francisco and El Segundo, CA."
"This is just the beginning of our growing Service Center network, which also includes a large fleet of mobile service vans for performing onsite vehicle repairs. We are planning to open over 100 Service Centers by the end of 2023."
In addition to all of this, Scaringe reiterated the company continues to work hard on building its charging network that'll include DC fast chargers and Level 2 AC chargers/connectors. The goal is to have over 3,500 DC chargers at around 600 locations over the next few months. This expansion will continue through the rest of this year and next. The CEO added that reservation holders will be able to complete their orders next month. A dedicated Rivian app is also set to become available sometime in the next few weeks.