In a mix of good and bad news, Rivian has announced that they reopened their manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois. The former Mitsubishi factory has been in the process of retooling towards the 2021 release of Rivian’s R1 line of electric trucks.
Unfortunately, those trucks are now confirmed to have been delayed by at least a couple of month due to the lockdown, as expected. The exact changes have not been outlined yet, but will be made public closer to launch.
However, it’s not a total wash. Rivian has a production deal with Amazon to produce 100,000 electric vans for the retailer’s fleet of delivery vehicles. According to Rivia, those vans have not seen a pushback in their schedule.
Rivian’s return-to-work team has been laser-focused on safety with a 4-phase plan that emphasizes employee well-being. Additionally, the vehicle engineering and design teams have been truly innovative in developing digital methods to make sure that program timing remains on track.
The $700 million deal with Amazon will see a planned 10,000 Rivian vans delivering packages by 2022, and the first on the road next year. The companies say that the 100,000 fully-formed fleet will help offset millions of tons of emissions per year.
Next they will just have to start offering the option to not have your items packaged in nesting-dolls of cardboard.