Against all odds, U.S.-based electric-vehicle upstart Rivian has beaten Ford, General Motors, and Tesla to the market with an electric pickup. After a couple minor delays, the first Rivian R1T rolled off the production line in Normal, Illinois this month to the delight of pre-order holders everywhere. Hype has been building since the R1T pickup and R1S SUV were unveiled in 2018 — and now that they’re hitting the road, the hype is about to boil over. Tesla isn’t the only game in town anymore.
That’s all well and good for Rivian, but what does it mean for Canadian drivers? When will deliveries begin? How can you get out for a test-drive? And how much will the R1T (and R1S) cost? We’ve got answers.
When will Rivian R1T arrive in Canada?
According to the company, Canadian deliveries of Launch Edition models will begin in November 2021, with Adventure and Explore models beginning in January 2022. The R1T pickup will arrive first, followed by the R1S SUV. It’s worth noting those dates were announced before the recent three-month delay. For what it’s worth, some Canadian owners on Rivianforums have reportedly been told deliveries are still on track to begin November 2021. “Rivian Guides” will reach out to customers to set a delivery date and arrange an at-home handover.
Can I test-drive in Canada?
Rivian’s “First Mile” drive experiences will be taking place in Canada during the first half of 2022, the company says. Based on what’s happening in the U.S., you can expect the Canadian events will land in big cities like Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. Pre-order holders are being invited to get a closer look at the vehicles and take them for a test drive. Hopefully these First Mile experiences will soon also open up to non-reservation holders.
How much does the Rivian R1T cost in Canada — and what’s its range?
The R1T Launch Edition, which is sold out, starts at $97,250. The R1T Explore starts at $90,000 and has 480 kilometres of driving range. The US EPA officially rated it at 505 km, even better than Rivian’s estimate. An optional “max pack” battery costs an extra $14,000 and offers 640 km of range. (While that’s not quite as much as the amazing 837 km range on a Lucid Air, anything over 600 km is impressive.)
A huge variety of paint colours, interior trims and optional packages are available including a pretty spectacular $6,750 camp kitchen — designed in collaboration with Snow Peak — that slides out of the R1T’s gear tunnel mounted just behind the rear doors. You can configure your dream spec here, but be warned: tick many of those option boxes and the price can quickly climb to over $130,000.
Will they have dealerships or service centres in Canada?
“Mobile Service is available for all Rivian owners anywhere in the U.S. and Canada,” according to the company. There will also be Rivian Service Centres – which have a very slick, modern aesthetic – but their Canadian locations haven’t been revealed yet.
Will Rivian have its own Supercharger network?
According to recent job postings, we know Rivian is looking to build up its own charging network in Toronto and across Canada. The “Rivian Adventure Network” of 3,500 DC fast chargers at 600 sites in the U.S. and Canada is supposed to be completed by the end of 2023. Another 10,000 public chargers are planned for longer stops at malls and parks. If there are any Rivian chargers already in Canada, the company has kept quiet about it so far.
Wait, where did Rivian come from?
When we first spoke to company founder and CEO RJ Scaringe in late 2018, Rivian was just coming out of stealth mode. Back then, he said it would take around $2 billion to make a single car (roughly $1 billion for development and $1 billion for production). Safe to say he met that funding goal and then some. The company’s main early backers were Saudi Arabian auto distributor Abdul Latif Jameel Ltd and Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. Since 2019, Rivian has raised more than $10 billion from investors including Amazon, Ford Motor Co., and a long list of venture capital firms. Now the company is reportedly looking to launch what could be the biggest U.S. initial public offering in years, reportedly aiming to raise up to $8 billion.
All images courtesy of Rivian.