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Rivian R1T

Rivian Axes Entry-Level R1T; New Orders Won't Be Fulfilled Until Late 2023

Don't count on a cheaper Rivian anytime soon

  • Rivian no longer plans to build the entry-level R1T Explore.
  • New R1T orders won't be fulfilled until late 2023 at the earliest.
  • Larger Max battery-pack models scheduled to enter production in March 2023.

Rivian announced last week that it will no longer build the R1T in its introductory Explore trim level as planned, raising the cost of entry to the electric truck in the process. But the bad news for prospective R1T buyers doesn't stop there — new reservation holders will have to wait until at least late 2023 before the order is fulfilled.

Rivian R1T

No more Explore

Rivian's most affordable proposed trim level, Explore, is now a thing of the past. It was never available — Rivian planned to introduce it post-launch — but now shoppers waiting for a more cost-effective model are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Customers who placed an order for an R1T in this spec will now have to choose to upgrade into a pricier Adventure trim or opt for a deposit refund. The Adventure trim is priced from $73,000 on Rivian's website, but that's for the version with two motors and the standard-range battery pack. To date, neither the dual-motor setup nor the standard pack has been available on any R1Ts.

If you're looking to reserve an R1T now, Rivian says that deliveries for new orders for the only currently available powertrain combo — four motors with the Large battery pack — should begin in late 2023. This powertrain is priced from an eyewatering $87,000.

We do think the R1T offers a lot for the money. We tested the quad-motor version, which sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in a blazing 3.5 seconds, and we were able to travel 317 miles on a full charge before running out of juice, beating the EPA's estimate by 3 miles.

The new R1T timeline

A Rivian representative laid out the new timeline for the R1T, which details when customers should expect to get their truck.

Launch Edition trucks started production last September, and customer deliveries are currently underway. Following the launch trucks was the Adventure trim, which began deliveries in March of this year. Next in line is the Adventure with the higher-capacity Max battery pack, scheduled to enter production in March 2023. All of these trucks must be equipped with quad-motor all-wheel drive to qualify for that build window.

Customers who want either the smallest Standard battery pack or dual-motor all-wheel drive should pull up a chair because their truck is going to take a minute. Rivian says these builds will start in 2024, with no further speculation on which month. That's the price you pay for paying a smaller price.

Rivian R1T

No relief in the form of tax credits

There is a brand-new set of rules for EV tax credits from the federal government. One of the strictest stipulations is an $80,000 price cap for electric trucks and SUVs. With the R1T theoretically starting at $73,000, the majority of Rivian products that you can buy for the foreseeable future will not qualify for the credit.

The company will likely target a more approachable starting price for future products, but right now it is prioritizing building trucks and SUVs that cost big money.

Edmunds says

The Rivian R1T is a fantastic new offering in the market, so it makes sense that customer demand is this strong. That said, we wish Rivian would take the path of its EV truck rival, Ford, and build the less expensive trucks alongside the priciest ones.

Rivian R1T