Rivian customers "furious" after the company canceled its cheapest electric truck

Rivian customers "furious" after the company canceled its cheapest electric truck

Rivian canceled the entry-level R1T, effectively increasing the price of its base-model electric truck by over $6,000, according to an online forum for customers later confirmed by the company.

The company said in an email to customers that it was canceling the base Explore model, which started at $67,500, in favor of the $73,000 Adventure trim. Customers can either upgrade to the more expensive trim level or cancel their orders, the company advised. Rivian also has “discontinued” the less expensive fairing for the electric SUV R1S, which is expected to be delivered to customers later this year.

In an email to pre-orderers, a copy of which Rivian spokeswoman Tanya Miller shared with The Verge, the company said it made the decision to no longer offer the Explore package so that it “can ship as many vehicles as possible.” “.

The email states that the “focus on the Adventure gear pack” will allow Rivian to “streamline” its supply chain and manufacture more vehicles. In its latest earnings report, the company reported delivery of 4,467 vehicles and reiterated its goal of building 25,000 this year.

“We recognize that as a result of this message you may be able to cancel and have your deposit refunded.”

If customers choose to upgrade to the Adventure model, the price increase is based on when they originally placed their order. If you cancel your pre-order, you will receive a refund of your deposit. The company states that “only a small percentage of customers” ordered the Explore model.

A customer on the Rivian Owners Forum said he was “absolutely angry and disappointed at the same time” when he received the email, explaining that upgrading to the high-end truck would increase the price by nearly $8,000 .

This isn’t the first time Rivian pre-orderers have been upset about a price hike. In March, the company increased the estimated prices of its vehicles by as much as 20 percent, leading to some pre-orderers being told their trucks would be $10,000 or $20,000 more expensive. But after an uproar, the company withdrew the price hike a day later and apologized to customers. Now, the company has managed to more or less raise the starting price of the R1T and R1S by around $5,500 and $6,000 respectively.

According to Miller, “There have been no shipments of Explore packages to date.” There’s precedent for electric vehicles being announced at a price that most customers won’t end up paying — Tesla originally announced the Model 3 would start at $35,000, but it proved extremely difficult to do that actually getting an electric vehicle at that price, and Tesla eventually stopped offering it.

Rivian has faced some financial storms lately. Last month, the company laid off 6 percent of its employees and reported a net loss of $1.71 billion for the second quarter of 2022.

Earlier this month, Ford announced that the price of its electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning, would increase by $7,000 on all trim levels when it goes back on sale.