Startup Rivian Planning to Offer Subscription Services for EVs

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【Summary】Electric startup Rivian is looking to offer consumers with a subscription service that would give customers access to its electric pickup and SUV without a long-term commitment.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 06, 2019 6:00 AM PT
Startup Rivian Planning to Offer Subscription Services for EVs

Numerous automakers now offer subscription services for consumers that don't want to have a long-term commitment with a car. Thanks to subscription services, consumers can pay a set amount a month and get access to all sorts of vehicles. Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, and more have subscription services in place. Electric startup Rivian is looking to jump on the subscription train, reports Automotive News.

Rivian Jumping On Subscription Bandwagon
"You may use one solution to get to and from the office during the week," said Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe. "But on the weekend, you may want a subscription program."
Scaringe believes that having a subscription program is a necessity for a lot of automakers going forward. Consumers want more flexibility, more options, and subscription services give them that. One thing that Rivian's subscription program could give consumers access to vehicles with more range. For consumers that purchased one of the first electric vehicles on the road, they've had to deal with a range of approximately 100 miles on a single charge. With Rivian's EVs expected to have a range of 400 miles, it would open up the possibility of actually completing a long trip.
In addition to announcing that the Rivian would offer a subscription service, the electric startup will also take an interesting route when it comes to sales. Taking a chapter from Tesla's book, Rivian doesn't expect to have traditional dealers. Instead, the brand will go with a "direct-sales model."

Taking A Chapter From Tesla
"From a sales and retail point of view, it's a direct-sales model," said Scaringe. "Core for us is maintaining direct ownership of our customers, which means it's a direct-sales model. But that doesn't mean we don't have partners that are working on the back end, running and maintaining and operating that ecosystem."
Rivian plans to have two electric vehicles on the market in the near future: the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV. Both will be priced at above the $70,000 price range and have ranges of roughly 400 miles, though the brand has also described ranges of 230 and 300 miles. The vehicles are expected to be rugged, as well, as the R1T will have a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds.
Rivian has sparked a lot of interest recently. Ford invested $550 million into the electric company, Amazon led a funding round to the tune of $700 million, and Cox Automotive recently invested $350 million into the brand. Money clearly won't be an issue for Rivian, so hopefully the company can deliver on all of its promises.

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