Rivian Automotive launched the first electric pickup in late 2021 with a game-changing feat of engineering.
The R1T features an electric motor for each wheel, delivering 825 combined horsepower, superior traction and blazing three-second runs to 60 mph, Rivian said. The quad-motor design also helps while climbing rocks.
But that setup is holding back production, an issue that has dogged the startup since the launch. Rivian has a healthy order bank and a modern factory in Normal, Ill., but not enough computer chips for its third-party motors.
Rivian is now shifting to an internally developed electric drive unit — Enduro — that it expects to break the production bottleneck and reduce costs as it plans its next generation of vehicles.
The automaker's woes are rooted in supply-chain shortages that have persisted for certain computer chips.
A shortage of power semiconductors for the quad motors, supplied by Bosch, is throttling output of the R1T and the R1S crossover as customers wait months for their vehicles — or cancel altogether.
Rivian will use its Enduro drive unit in a two-motor design, one at the front and one at the rear, in the R1T and the R1S crossover based on the same platform. The Enduro motor is already being used in its commercial vans.