Rivian has posted its financial results for the first quarter, and the numbers and statements from company execs provide hope for the EV startup.

The company said it maintains its 2023 production guidance of 50,000 vehicles after producing 9,395 units in the first quarter – R1T pickup, R1S SUV, and EDV commercial vans combined – and delivering 7,946.

"Production in the first quarter was in-line with our expectations and, as a result, we are re-affirming our production outlook for the year of 50,000 total units," CEO RJ Scaringe said on the first-quarter earnings call on May 9, according to Automotive News.

Rivian said is implementing factory upgrades that will help it both increase output and reduce costs in the coming months. The company paused van production in the first quarter to introduce its in-house Enduro motor and an iron-based battery pack to the van line.

The EV startup's first-quarter total revenues of $661 million beat Wall Street estimates, but the company continues to burn through cash, posting a $1.35 billion first-quarter net loss, down from $1.59 billion in Q1 2022. Rivian ended the first quarter with $11.78 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash.

Despite not being profitable yet, the company suggested it's starting to turn the corner when it comes to solving production bottlenecks and cutting costs. Using its own Enduro motor plays a big part in that; the new drive unit is currently being fitted to EDV vans and will find its way into the R1T and R1S later this quarter.

"Enduro's providing cost improvements that will result in a significant reduction in our bill of materials," Scaringe said on the call.

After the introduction of the Enduro motor and lithium-iron-phosphate battery packs on the EDV van, for example, the costs of materials for the vehicle line fell by 25 percent, the company said. Previously, Rivian was using an outsourced motor and more expensive nickel-based battery cells in its electric vans.

RJ Scaringe said about half of all R1S and R1T vehicles are expected to use the Enduro motor later this year, with the current Bosch-supplied motors to carry on equipping the other half. As for the LFP packs, the R1 line won't receive them immediately. 

Rivian stock rose about 6 percent after the company posted its first-quarter results. As with Lucid a day earlier, though, the EV startup did not provide details of its pre-orders at the end of the quarter.

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