Electric truck startup Rivian Automotive is now producing three vehicles, which is impressive considering the circumstances. The brand is already delivering its R1T and R1S, along with the EDV for Amazon. However, some argue the company should have probably stuck with one vehicle at a time, as building a successful car company is a struggle, and a global pandemic and supply chain issues only amplify the reality.
The R1T electric truck is Rivian's vehicle that's likely most familiar to the masses. The R1S is a three-row SUV built on the same platform as the R1T. The SUV is nearly identical to the electric pickup truck aside from having seats instead of an open-air bed. The EDV is short for the "Electric Delivery Van" that Rivian is producing for Amazon.
At any rate, while Rivian is certainly having some successes, it's struggling to ramp up and produce at capacity. According to Automotive News, Rivian's assembly plant in Normal, IL, is capable of making some 150,000 units per year. However, at this point, Rivian will be lucky to hit its goal of producing 25,000 vehicles in 2022. The company made less than 7,000 by the year's midpoint.
Much like just about every automaker across the globe, Rivian is citing supply chain issues as one of the main reasons it's lagging. The company is also dealing with growing pains, perhaps putting too much on its plate and hiring too many bodies before they were needed. Not to mention making big plans for a second factory already, long before it's able to ramp up the first.
With all of this said, car parts are becoming more available and Rivian is planning to take advantage of the situation with a second shift and a more aggressive production ramp. Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe shared during the EV maker's recent earnings call:
"There was a lot of the second quarter where we weren't able to fully utilize our [production] line. We weren't able to even run a full single shift because of component supply."
It's important to note that Scaringe was saying Rivian wasn't able to run a full single shift "at times," meaning that wasn't always the case. Regardless, the company made it clear a second shift is coming later in Q3 2022, which may help it reach its goal of producing 25,000 EVs this year.
Automotive News notes that Rivian already showed improvement from Q1 to Q2 2022, making some 4,400 vehicles during the latter. In the first quarter, the company only produced about 2,500 EVs.
Much like the ongoing situation with Tesla, demand is not the issue here. Many such companies have a long list of orders they haven't come close to being able to fill. Rivian revealed that it has nearly 100,000 orders for the R1T and R1S. Keep in mind, that Amazon's order of EDV units is also at 100,000.