Like everyone else, Rivian is raising prices. And they’re doing it at the wrong time. The Verge reports that the EV automaker has gotten rid of the base model of its R1T pickup and R1S SUV and pissed off customers in the process, since it also axed the models that had already been pre-ordered.
The move couldn’t come at a worse time, just days after President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, making over 70 percent of EVs on the market ineligible for the EV tax credit. The company’s moves were discovered by owners on the online forums and later confirmed by the company through emails to customers.
The company explains that it has discontinued the Explorer package for the R1T. That was the cheapest R1T you could buy, with a starting price of $67,500. This now means that the cheapest R1T you can get into is the $73,000 Adventure trim. The email sent to customers explains the company’s reasoning:
We appreciate your excitement for our company and our products. We have an update that affects your preorder and want to make sure you hear about it directly from us.
In order to deliver as many vehicles as possible, we have made the decision to discontinue the Explore Package. We realize this news is unexpected and apologize for how it impacts your plans.
When we initially launched our vehicles, we planned for two packages, Adventure and Explore, to offer more variety to our customers. The Explore Package was designed as our entry option and it was our expectation that a large number of customers would choose it. To date, only a small percentage of customers have chosen this configuration, with the vast majority selecting the Adventure trim. By focusing on the Adventure trim package, we’re able to streamline our supply chain and ultimately deliver vehicles more quickly.
What makes all this worse is that it also impacts customers who already have preorders. And Rivian isn’t giving them many options. They can either cancel their order entirely and get their deposit back, or they can open their wallets to drop more dough for the more expensive trim.
Plenty of people are pissed as this increase and the frustration of other problems the company has had has come to a head.
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“Fooled me once! I’m beyond incredibly frustrated with Rivian at this point. I understand inflation however this is simple a manufacturing incompetence tax that they are passing on to their committed reservation holders. The opinion of the reservation holders who will now be paying an extra $6000 more than they were promised won’t matter because they can’t deliver a fraction of the cars on the reservation list before 2024,” said one customer.
Rivian has also raised the price of the R1S SUV, a vehicle that hasn’t even begun to be delivered to customers yet. The base model R1S is now $78,000. One customer said he’s canceling his order because with the increase, the R1S just doesn’t make sense for him anymore.
“Now the base price is 78k with dual and standard pack… Looks like I’m out. I need the long range, 260 standard won’t do it, that’ll give me like 220 real world driving. Not paying 82k for the long range model without the tax credit, Just to be a beta tester for Rivian…” he said.
Remember, this isn’t the first time Rivian has raised prices. This is just the first time the company has actually gotten away with it. Earlier this year the company attempted to raise prices on both the R1T and R1S. But the backlash came from all sides, from angry customers to shareholders that threatened to sue. CEO RJ Scaringe issued an apology and quickly walked backed the increase. This time around it looks as if those price hikes are here to stay.