Rivian has discontinued the entry-level Explore trim for its R1T and R1S electric vehicles. "After weighing customer demand, Rivian decided to remove Explore Package as an option when configuring an R1T or R1S," wrote in a support article. "We realize this news comes as a surprise and apologize to customers who have had their planning impacted."
The company said it initially gave customers two package options to offer them "more variety." While Rivian expected that many customers would opt for the Explore package, it claimed that only a small percentage of them have done so, with "the vast majority" selecting the Adventure trim. The company said that by narrowing its focus to the Adventure trim, it would be able to streamline its supply chain and deliver its EVs more rapidly.
The move means Rivian's electric truck and SUV are getting more expensive for those looking for the cheapest option — it marks an increase of $5,500 across the board. The R1T truck now starts at $73,000, while the R1S costs at least $78,000 for new orders (the latter starts at $75,500 for those who pre-ordered on March 1st or earlier).
Those with a pre-order for an Explore trim will need to reconfigure their package to an Adventure model by September 1st. Otherwise, Rivian will move them out of the production queue. Customers with an Explore package pre-order will receive their deposit back if they cancel. Those with a binding Explore order agreement can cancel by September 16th for a full refund.
Meanwhile, the quad-motor option has increased in price for new orders in the US (by $2,000) and Canada (by $3,250 CAD). Rivian is currently testing dual-motor versions of the R1S and R1T.
Rivian announced price increases of between $12,000 and $20,000 for all models earlier this year. After a swift backlash, it altered those plans and limited the increases to new R1T and R1S orders, though shareholders brought a lawsuit against the company.
Rivian recently laid off six percent of staff in order to funnel more resources into increasing production. It's struggling to build EVs quickly enough to meet demand and it had to slash its production forecast for the year in half to 25,000. The company's pre-order backlog stood at around 98,000 as of the end of June, not counting the 100,000 electric delivery vehicles Rivian is making for Amazon.