Rivian Delivery Blunders Frustrate Waiting Customers

The obstacles of starting a new car company are proving more difficult to overcome for Rivian than originally anticipated. With the startup pull through?
Written by Andrew Koole
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
There’s a lot of noise on Wall Street about
EV startups
right now. Six months ago, shares in these new automakers were all the rage. Now, general stock market anxiety seems to be specifically targeted at them.
Rivian, the electric pickup truck and SUV builder that outperformed its peers on a number of levels in late 2021, hasn’t been immune to the loss in share value. 
But the reasons for selling Rivian shares might be different from the reasons for dumping stocks in Canoo or Lordstown. As the company begins delivering its
electric vehicles
, it’s come up against growing pains its lagging rivals have yet to come up against.
, your car ownership
super app
, took a closer look at the company and how it’s addressing its particular set of problems.

Rivian jumbled its order of delivery

Rivian reservation holders are starting to voice their frustrations with the new company. Dozens of them have complained that
delivery timelines
were unreliable and that their position in line is not being honored. 
says the problem can be traced back to Rivian’s announcement in April that it would prioritize production of specific interior and exterior color and style options rather than fulfilling reservations in the order they came in.
The move was meant to help the company speed up the assembly line, but for some early reservation holders, it has caused more delays. It’s been enough for at least one would-be customer, Jeff Wells, to place an order with Ford for an
F-150 Lightning
"At this point,” he said to Reuters, “if Ford comes through first, I think I'll go with them.”
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Other obstacles blocking Rivian’s road to success

The mix up in reservation order isn’t the first time Rivian has frustrated its waiting customers. In March, the company announced a significant
price increase
for its two models, bumping the starting sticker for the R1T from $67,500 to $79,500 and from $70,000 to $84,500 for the R1S.
Shocked order-holders were quickly assured by an announcement a day later that the increases would only apply to new reservations, but initial lack of communication put some on edge in way that was difficult to come down from.
Beyond their self-inflicted wounds, Rivian has also been forced to deal with economic crises wreaking havoc on the industry—especially for newcomers. 
Supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic and bolstered by the
war in Ukraine
have delayed production increases and pushed the stock market into a downward spiral.

Rivian still in a better situation than most for honoring pre-sales

Despite the hiccups, Rivian is still one of the best EV startup to bet on. 
Still one of the only new electric vehicle producers in the U.S. to actually deliver units, its independently acquired I.P.O, support from Amazon and
, and ability to avoid CEO-related scandals puts it a number of steps ahead of many rival brands.
Drivers still like what they see enough to help keep the brand going. Since March, about 20,000 new pre-orders have been made. 
The $1,000-$1,500 fee for each, plus the $16 billion in cash Rivian still has from
going public
puts it well ahead of competing brands like Canoo, Fisker, and Lordstown.

What owning a Rivian will cost you

Rivians are getting more expensive. The price hike announced in March surprised some, but apparently, it could just be the start. New pre-orders don’t come with any price guarantee, and some say the Rivian models offered right now can only be profitable if sold for $95,000.
On top of that, the cost of
car insurance
for electric vehicles continues to be higher on average than it is for gas-powered vehicles. Replacement costs for EV batteries are partially to blame.
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