FILE PHOTO - An employee works on an assembly line at startup Rivian Automotive's electric vehicle factory in Normal, Illinois, U.S. April 11, 2022. Picture taken April 11, 2022.
FILE PHOTO - An employee works on an assembly line at startup Rivian Automotive's electric vehicle factory in Normal, Illinois, U.S. April 11, 2022. Reuters / KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI


  • Rivian said the decision was made so it can deliver more vehicles
  • One customer said the automaker should have 'weighed these decisions' before production started
  • A few customers defended Rivian, citing production issues amid inflation

Electric vehicle automaker Rivian has confirmed that it "discontinued" the "Explore" model of its R1T electric truck, causing customers to express frustration over the sudden cancelation of the truck's cheapest model. Customers who still want an R1T may opt for the more expensive "Adventure" trim model.

In an email sent to preorder holders Thursday that was shared with The Verge by the automaker's spokesperson Tanya Miller, Rivian said it has canceled the Explore package in a bid to "deliver as many vehicles as possible." The email also explained to preorder holders that a refocus on the Adventure trim package should allow the company to "streamline" its supply chain.

The Explore model was marketed with a starting price of $67,500, while the Adventure trim package starts at $73,000. Rivian has clarified that customers who cancel their preorders of the Explore model will get their deposits refunded. However, customers who prefer the Explore package over the Adventure trim model have expressed anger and disappointment over the decision.

In a Rivian Owners Forum thread that discussed the matter, most customers demonstrated discontentment over the automaker's move. A supposed copy of the email sent to preorder customers was also posted on the thread wherein Rivian supposedly said "only a small percentage of customers" actually preordered the Explore model.

One customer wrote that they felt "totally enraged and let down at the same time" as Explore's discontinuation "would increase my cost by nearly $8k." The said customer added that the move was "a terrible way to run a company."

Another user said the cancelation of the more affordable R1T electric truck was "lame," adding that he feels "sorry for everyone who has had to endure the constant heartache, headaches and frustrations from Rivian." The customer pointed out that communication from the California-based automaker "has been terrible at best" during the summer.

One preorder client argued that Rivian "should have weighed these decisions long before production started." The said client said he "won't be surprised if I only get $900 back" if he cancels his Explore preorder. "I just wanted my truck, which doesn't exist anymore," the customer wrote.

A few other customers came to Rivian's defense, with one client stating that the company made the change "to try to increase production, and slow the haemorrhaging" brought about by inflation in the commodities market.

On its official website, Rivian states that the R1T Adventure electric truck features eight modes, with four modes dedicated "for the road," and four others "for when it ends."

Rivian has yet to comment on the reaction of customers over the canceled R1T Explore package.