Rivian starts making trucks, Lucid making cars, GM making e-vans
Two weeks ago, Rivian started making electric pickup trucks, the first automaker in North America to produce them for sale to the general public in the 21st century; they’re coming off a line in Normal, Illinois, that used to make Mitsubishis under the Dodge, Mitsubishi, Eagle, and Plymouth brands.
GM announced today that it has started making battery-powered vans, which were among the last commercial electric vehicles to leave common day-to-day use back in the 1970s, where they handled the “last mile” for goods shipped by rail.
Finally, just now, Lucid said it had started making sedans for customers in Arizona. The first ones off the line are the Dream Edition, starting at $169,000 and boasting 520 miles of range. Just 520 are being made before other models start up, with a far more reasonable if still quite high $77,400-and-up price range.
Lucid has tens of thousands of nonbinding reservations, and can make 34,000 vehicles per year from its plant “as is,” though it can expand to 400,000 if the plant grows. Rivian is using a full size auto plant and has well over 100,000 orders from Amazon for customized vans, as well as individual orders from retail buyers. GM’s BrightDrop vans, finally, have orders from FedEx and Verizon, and likely other fleet buyers.
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, and lives in Farmingdale, New York.