Rivian produced a skosh more than 1,000 electric vehicles in 2021 – TechCrunch

U.S. electric automaker Rivian reported Monday it produced 1,015 vehicles in 2021 — a figure that is in line with expectations that the company lowered last month.

Rivian  delivered 920 vehicles by the end of 2021, according to a release issued Monday. Rivian has more than 71,000 “pre-orders” (meaning refundable reservations) for its R1T pickup trucks, according to its letter to shareholders posted in December.

Rivian had initially targeted production of 1,200 vehicles by the end of the year. Last month, company executives including CEO RJ Scaringe cut those expectations, saying it would likely fall a few hundred vehicles short due to supply chain issues and challenges of battery production.

During its earnings call in December, Scaringe referred to production as a complex orchestra on two occasions.

“In ramping up a production system like this, it is, as I said before, a really complex orchestra,” Scaringe said. “So you have hundreds of suppliers providing thousands of parts, thousands of robots within the production facility operating to prescribe movements, and then thousands of team members assembling and working to put the vehicles together.”

Despite that lowered target, Scaringe noted during that call that the company is “ramping largely as expected.”

“The battery constraint is really an artifact of just bringing up a highly automated line,” he said in December. “And as I said, that doesn’t represent any long-term challenges for us. We have a second line that’s coming on that will put the battery module production way out in front in terms of capacity of the other areas of the plant.”

As Rivian races to ramp production, established automakers GM and Ford are preparing to launch their own electric pickup trucks. Ford said January 4 it will nearly double production capacity of its upcoming electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck to 150,000 vehicles a year by mid-2023 in response to customer demand. The first deliveries of F-150 Lightning pickup trucks are expected in spring 2022.

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