Rivian Has Reopened And Is Fixing Up Its Factory

kanundrum

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https://insideevs.com/news/425396/rivian-reopen-factory-covid/

Some employees will continue to work from home.

Rivian, the would-be maker of electric vehicles with an adventuring bent, was forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to halt the renovation and expansion of its factory back around the beginning of April. They even shared a video at the time, showing where workers had to leave things off.
With all of the established automakers reopening factories and starting production back up again last week, we thought it might be a good time to check in with the outfit behind one of the most anticipated electric vehicles – the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck – and see where they're at, reopening-wise.

We're happy to report that the company has begun the process of restarting its operations. While renovation work at its factory in Normal, Illinois had halted, other engineering and development work continued apace.


Though allowed to open without any restrictions, the company appears to be making worker safety a priority. According to a spokesperson, Rivian has instituted "a 4-phase plan to keep everyone who can work remotely at home."


The daily number of workers on-site will be controlled. Personal protective equipment (PPE), along with temperature checks, will be required to work at the plant. Rivian employees who are not comfortable with the risks are encouraged to stay home. And, unlike most companies, this won't mean forcing workers to make a choice between risking infection and putting food on the table. All Rivian employees continue to receive their full compensation.



The company even went out of its way to supply us with the numbers of workers involved at its Normal factory, which is being expanded from 2.6 million to 3 million square feet. Of the 335 Rivian employees it has in the area, 116 of them are on-site.


Besides these people, it also has a number of sub-contractors fulfilling their roles. Of those, 109 workers are doing work inside the massive structure, while between 120 and 140 people are toiling outside.


The pandemic-related halt postponed deliveries of the R1T electric pickup until 2021. It hasn't given an exact day yet, but since the shutdown was almost 2 months, we imagine a delay of the same length wouldn't be unexpected.
 

EyeOnRivian

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Thanks for posting this @kanundrum. Glad to see Rivian is still taking this pandemic serious while attempting to move forward. :like:

Not to sour on the news, and perhaps this is premature, but is it just me or do others think most of the above would be perfect content to place in an email and send to their pre-order holders and even to those who had signed up for their e-newsletter?
 

Kickaha

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Agreed. I am a little disappointed in the lack of communication.

Even just a bi-weekly "we are still alive" press release or email would be welcome.
 
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Coast2Coast

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I agree Rivian is dropping the ball. Maybe we'll be surprised and get something in tomorrow's email, but there's a lot more that needs to be done for pre-order holders and the general public.

There's a long list of "not yet knowns". Battery and vehicle testing, configurator, hiring at Normal, production at Normal, hiring elsewhere, test drives, all sorts of sales, leasing, subscription, financing, servicing and related matters. Will there be brick and mortar locations for test drives and sales or will everything be done online? With production about 6-7 months away in all likelihood, a steady drum beat of information should be released periodically. This is PR/Marketing 101.

I applaud Rivian's engineering culture, but building a great company is more than having great engineering. Rivian is a new company with new, different and better products. People need to be informed and educated, not just pre-order holders but the general public.

It's about responding to rising, general expectations about BEVs, especially in a post-pandemic era. Now is an opportunity to respond to uncertainty, curiosity and hope for a more sustainable future.
 
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Tyker

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I've been getting a little jaded lately with the lack of updates or otherwise any real information. Posting a video on how to draw just made me shake my head. I follow Lucid on twitter just because I have an EV interest and they set a fine example of consistent release of quality content.
 

DucRider

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I've been getting a little jaded lately with the lack of updates or otherwise any real information. Posting a video on how to draw just made me shake my head. I follow Lucid on twitter just because I have an EV interest and they set a fine example of consistent release of quality content.
I'm of the opposite opinion. I don't want to hear a bunch of marketing hype with no substance to back it up, with "details" that are likely to change or are just wish list items for the manufacturer (Atlis is a good example).
Companies can back themselves into a corner by premature announcements - the $35K Model 3 is one example.
Also making announcements about some features or specs they want to achieve could hinder them during negotiations - if they are planning on reduced cost (or free) charging at Electrify America locations, announcing that before the deal is signed would put them at a distinct disadvantage at the bargaining table. Negotiating with States that have direct sales restrictions is tricky at best, and announcing plans and/or a business model could hurt them in that endeavor.
Announcing specific details can also reduce their ability to incorporate improvements based on testing (the Long Way Up vehicles as an example). If features and specs are put into an online configurator and later need to be changed, it can create issues.
We are many months away from needing to finalize an order, and I would much rather the information they release be nearly 100% accurate than marketing hype. Yes, Lucid is very good at creating quality on-line content. I have much less confidence in them having the funding and capabilities to produce a mass-market vehicle. Do we really know more details from Lucid than from Rivian? Who is their battery supplier (or suppliers)? What is the DCFC speed and what kind of partnerships do they have for charging? Who will provide service and how will it be obtained? What is the exact sales model outside of their showroom in Newport for those that want to see it and test drive it? Are only the $100K+ "Dream Editions" shipping in 2021? What is the status on "North America’s first purpose-built EV factory in Casa Grande, AZ"?
 

cohall

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According to this report, Rivian still plans on delivering it's first vehicles by 2021. I interpret that to mean this year, and not in 2021.

https://www.pantagraph.com/business...cle_5a91d537-cb12-508c-9e1d-86d0c057e24c.html



From RJ:
Rivian’s return-to-work team has been laser-focused on safety with a four-phase plan that emphasizes employee well-being. Additionally, the vehicle engineering and design teams have been truly innovative in developing digital methods to make sure that program timing remains on track
 

Ricks

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My deposit was acknowledged on 2/21/19 I would like to hear how they are doing. Update about deliver dates. What are the options? Just some basic stuff.
 

electruck

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According to this report, Rivian still plans on delivering it's first vehicles by 2021. I interpret that to mean this year, and not in 2021.

https://www.pantagraph.com/business...cle_5a91d537-cb12-508c-9e1d-86d0c057e24c.html
Pretty sure you're reading too much into the phrase "by 2021". While a bit ambiguous, when "by" is used like this it frequently means up to and including the end date - so sometime in 2021 which is consistent with everything else we've been hearing. Even before covid, there were not going to be any significant number of deliveries in 2020. Even Rivian was making statements in social media that many reservation holders would be getting their vehicles in 2021.
 

ElectricTrucking

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Will the first one be called a garage queen?

Workers will be practicing social distancing and spending limited hours in the plant, said Dietmier, adding that some people will continue to work from home
 
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