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The Rivian: The first electric pickup rolls out in Illinois

Written By | Sep 20, 2021

NORMAL, IL: September of 2021 will go down in the automotive history books. It was the day that the first electric pickup truck rolled off an assembly line in Normal, Illinois.  Electric vehicle (EV) company, Rivian, is producing the Rivian 1T. The EV Pickup will compete with Tesla’s forthcoming Cybertruck and the Ford F-150 Lightning in 2022. In addition, General Motors expects to launch an electric version of the Hummer later this fall.

Helping to bring the vehicle to market, Rivian entered into an agreement with Amazon for $2.5 billion in funding. As a result, Amazon will be acquiring 100,000 electric vans. (Future Cars: 2022 Rivian Amazon Prime Van Is One Special Delivery Vehicle)

In addition, Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos will be adding an R1T Pickup and an R1S SUV to his fleet.

Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe tweeting a picture of the first customer-ready pickup driving off the assembly line.

Rivian predicts the R1T Launch Edition vehicle to get a travel range of approximately 314 miles on a single battery charge.

Illinois is making plans to become the first Midwest state to adopt a carbon-free electric grid. A portion of the bill Gov. Pritzker recently signed will make the state friendlier to electric vehicle manufacturers. Part of the initiative is the installation of public charging stations across the state.

However, the company has not yet detailed how it will market the Riva. What is known Rivian EVs will sell as premium vehicles with pricing starting around $70,000.

EV, Rivian, Normal IL

Rivian S1 – SUV – Image courtesy of Rivian

Rivian confirmed that it has met regulatory requirements vehicles are fully certified by NHTSA, EPA, and CARB and are ready for sale in all 50 states.

The former Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Il, will be the production plant for the Rivian vehicles. The plant began in 1988 as Diamond-Star Motors after a lure by Illinois of $250 million in state and local subsidies. This facility was initially a venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler. In 1991, Mitsubishi became the sole owner. In their prime, they had over 3,000 workers. The 2.4 million-square-foot auto plant went up for sale in 2015.

While it’s still working on the initial customer orders in Normal, Rivian is already eyeing a second factory. The second factory is said to be code-named “Project Tera.” A Texas location is said to be a front runner for that plant.

‘Motor Trend’ magazine recently reviewed the electric vehicle truck in an extensive road and off-road test.

Giving the vehicle a widely positive review saying,

“The first modern EV pickup to hit the market, the R1T—and Rivian as a whole—is conceived around the idea of electrifying the outdoors. Leaving the Fords of the world to electrify the work truck, Rivian says the R1T is engineered to ensure we can continue to explore the great outdoors long after the world pivots hugely from the internal combustion engine to the electric motor.” (‘Exclusive: We Drive the 2022 Rivian R1T Off-Road Across the Trans-America Trail, Part 1 and  Part 2’ – Motor Trend)

The development by Amazon and Rivian is pretty exciting.  Some of us envision a day when our tonneau truck box covers will double as solar collectors, extending the range of the vehicle beyond what it offers today.

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Read more from Mark Schwendau.

About the author:

Mark Schwendau is a conservative Christian patriot and retired technology professor (CAD-CAM and web development). He prides himself on his critical thinking ability. Schwendau has had a long sideline of newspaper editorial writing where he used the byline, “- bringing little known facts to people who simply want to know the truth.”

Mark is on alternative free speech social media platforms after lifetime bans from Facebook and Twitter and shadow bans from Instagram and Fox News commenting.



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Mark Schwendau

Mark Schwendau is a Christian conservative patriot and retired technology professor (CAD-CAM and web development) who prides himself on his critical thinking ability. Schwendau has had a long sideline of newspaper editorial writing where he used the byline, “- bringing little known facts to people who simply want to know the truth.” Mark is on alternative free speech social media platforms after lifetime bans from Facebook and Twitter and shadow bans from Instagram and Fox News commenting. His website is www.IDrawIWrite.Tech