UPDATE: A Rivian spokesperson confirmed that the R1S owner in the photo is the company's VP for Hardware Engineering, Vidya Rajagopalan, adding that R1S deliveries are ongoing. "We continue to ramp R1S into our production line and are actively making deliveries of this vehicle," the representative said.
Deliveries of the long-awaited Rivian R1S electric SUV appear to have started judging by a social media post from the EV startup.
Rivian tweeted four photos of happy owners taking delivery of their brand-new electric trucks and one of the photos features an R1S in Launch Edition Green posing with its new owner.
Up until now, the EV manufacturer mentioned two R1S deliveries being made in December 2021, but the people taking delivery of those were company employees. After doing some digging, we found out that this one also belongs to another employee, Rivian's VP of Hardware Engineering Vidya Rajagopalan.
A Twitter user posted a screenshot from the Rivian Owners North America Facebook group showing the exact same photo with the caption "Well Deserved to be the VW of Hardware Engineering." We compared the person in the photo with the photo listed on Vidya Rajagopalan's LinkedIn page and they match. For the sake of transparency, it would have probably been better if Rivian mentioned that the customer in the photo is one of its high-ranking executives.
In late 2021, the company told R1S reservation holders that their vehicles would start arriving from March 2022, although it noted that the majority of the first wave of deliveries were expected in the summer and autumn of 2022.
Factoring in the supply chain disruptions and rising material costs that Rivian blamed for lower than expected production growth in Q1 2022, regular customers may have to wait a bit longer than expected to take delivery of their R1S electric SUVs.
Several Twitter users asked Rivian whether this means R1S customer deliveries have started but the automaker did not reply to any of the questions at the time of this writing. We contacted the company for additional details and a confirmation that the woman in the photo is Vidya Rajagopalan; we'll update the story once we hear back.
In its Q1 2022 report, Rivian said it delivered 1,227 vehicles and built 2,553 vehicles in the first quarter of this year, without offering numbers for each model.
The Rivian R1S is listed on the customer website with a starting price of $72,500 for the Explore package with the dual-motor AWD powertrain and Standard battery pack offering 260+ miles of range. Mind you, this configuration will only start shipping to customers in 2024.
The model fitted with the quad-motor AWD powertrain is only available with the Large battery pack offering 316 miles of range and starts at $84,500.
On the Rivian R1S online configurator, the delivery timeline for existing preorders is as follows: Launch Edition trim in 2022, Adventure trim in 2022, 2023 and 2024, and Explore trim in 2023 and 2024. For new preorders, deliveries will start in 2023 at the earliest.