Rivian is expected to start deliveries of its electric vehicles this summer, but the company doesn't have any showrooms yet. Rivian only recently identified locations in the Chicago and Los Angeles for the first showrooms, according to recent reports.
The Chicago location is a former bank branch on W. Randolph Street in the city's Fulton Market neighborhood, according to the Chicago Tribune. In a statement to the paper, Rivian said this is one of 10 showrooms it plans to open nationwide.
The company didn't say when it planned to open the Chicago showroom, but said the Windy City was a key market due to a high concentration of customers who have placed pre-orders. Rivian also builds its vehicles at a former Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois, about 140 miles south of Chicago.
Rivian is renovating a movie theater in Laguna Beach, California as its first store—with the plan allowing for a showroom for just two vehicles while maintaining one movie screen, according to the Los Angeles Times. The project to renovate the dormant theater was approved just last month, reported the Laguna Beach Independent.
Like Tesla, Rivian plans for its company-owned stores to function as showrooms only—not dealerships. They won't stock an inventory of cars, and maintenance will be handled at standalone service centers. It's also rolling out a supplementary charging network of its own that caters to outdoorsy people and their expected weekend destinations.
Rivian began pre-production of its R1T electric pickup truck in September 2020, and said at the time that deliveries would start in June 2021, with the R1S SUV version following in August 2021.
In November 2020, Rivian confirmed more information about the R1T and R1S—including pricing, range, and specifications. The R1T will start at $67,500 and the R1S at $70,000 with the 135-kwh "Large pack," affording 300 miles of EPA range. A 180-kwh "Max pack" will add $10,000 to the price of both vehicles, and boost range up to 400 miles. Lower-priced versions of the R1T and R1S with a smaller battery pack will likely arrive later.
Rivian is unusual among EV startups in shunning initial public offerings through SPAC shell corporations. The company has attracted about $8 billion of investment so far, including $2.65 billion in a recently-concluded funding round, and investments from Amazon and Ford. Rivian developed an electric delivery van for Amazon, and has a joint-development deal with Ford for an unnamed future model.