Rivian (RIVN) tells reservation holders it is halting powered tonneau cover production to redesign it

Entertainment

In a recent letter to current reservation holders of the R1T, Rivian has said it will halt the production and installation of the powered tonneau cover on all future deliveries. Those reservation holders can now choose between a manual tonneau cover or no cover at all, while Rivian “upgrades” the powered version. Here are the details.

Rivian ($RIVN) is a relatively young American automaker that began delivering its flagship EV – the R1T pickup – about a year ago. The growing pains that coincide with any startup working to ramp up to scaled production hit Rivian early and hard, on top of global supply chain constraints for vital EV components.

To combat these issues, the company briefly raised its prices in late 2021 but backtracked after a mass exodus of reservation holders and much backlash from the Rivian community.

The company reported a $1.5 billion loss in Q1 of 2022, but has continued to show scaled progress in R1T and R1S production through the year. Q3 showed its largest production growth to date, successfully building over 7,300 EVs.

While Rivian continues to grow by restructuring its business and assembly practices, it looks like it has added a redesign of its powered tonneau cover to its to-do list.

Rivian’s letter to customers regarding power tonneau cover

Tip of the hat to Rivian Forums member MountainBikeDude for sharing the letter received from Rivian regarding its complete halt to powered tonneau cover production. The post is backed by several other forum members sending their own version of the same digital letter, deducing that this notice likely went out to all current R1T reservation holders. Here’s the full text:

We recently shared with R1T owners that we are upgrading the powered tonneau cover. As we go through the process, we are removing the powered tonneau cover from production. We plan to re-introduce this feature later, but a date has not been set. For the foreseeable future, all R1Ts will come with either a manual tonneau cover or no tonneau cover.

Since you have selected a powered tonneau cover, your configuration will need to be updated to either a manual tonneau cover or no tonneau cover. It’s important to note this choice will not impact your delivery timing estimate coming later this month.

Our manual tonneau cover is comprised of four interlocking panels constructed of a durable aluminum composite that slide in and out of the bed’s integrated siderails. When not in use, the panels store in a cargo bag and fit easily in the Gear Tunnel. The manual tonneau cover is fully lockable and offers protection against light weather. If you are taking delivery soon, your panels will ship later. Our current estimate is early 2023. Photos and a full demonstration of the manual tonneau cover will be shared before then.

If you choose no tonneau cover, vehicles delivered in the next few months will include the integrated siderails in the bed. In early 2023, we will transition to a design without the integrated siderails. It’s worth noting that when driving an R1T with no tonneau cover, there is little to no impact on range when the bed is empty.​

If you have any questions on this update, our team is here to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Tony Caravano
Head of Rivian Customer Engagement​

Rivian has not shared the reason for the update to the powered tonneau cover. We have reached out to Rivian for comment but have yet to hear back, we will update this story and we learn more.


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