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Would you prefer to purchase, lease or subscribe to a Rivian?

Discussion in 'Rivian' started by Domenick, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    2,101
    According to this video (below), Rivian may offer a subscription service along with the typical purchase and leasing options.

    Would you like this type of service or are you more comfortable with the traditional ways of getting into a vehicle?

     
  2. EyeOnEVs

    EyeOnEVs Rookie

    Mar 5, 2019
    40
    Good question as a lot of people are wondering about this. However, the short answer, at least for me at this point, is it's way too early to know.

    Let's start with the subscription model(s) news. As I've remarked elsewhere about that video, unfortunately Alex did not reveal any details because simply there are none at this point. RJ mentioned the subscription model over a year ago in August during a Bloomberg interview and we basically know no more now than when he mentioned it last year. Go to 3:40 mark in video -



    What will the subscription include, e.g. insurance and if so what will it exactly cover? What about maintenance, what will it cover? How about charging station costs? After a certain amount of time and/or mileage can you buy your vehicle or upgrade to a newer EAV, and if so, is there any additional cost? Will there be multiple subscription models to pick from? Are there cancellation fees? The questions are endless at this point.

    Traditionally I tend to keep my vehicles until their last leg so I usually go the buy route. Leasing and subscription models seem to have greater benefits for those who keep their vehicles for shorter terms, say, 2 to 5 yrs, among other reasons. As for leasing, I've heard zero info on this from Rivian. The same for trade-ins. With the Cox Automotive investment/partnership I suspect they will be handling or helping with these topics, but like with most things with Rivian it's a question of when will they release this info.

    So here's where I'm at now with regards to purchasing. With an introductory vehicle from a very young, unproven company, the reliability of the vehicle and the company's responsiveness are unknown. I'm not saying there will be problems but the odds are certainly higher there will be some especially when compared to a proven vehicle from an established company. Because of this unknown there's a greater chance I might not keep the vehicle for the long term. So my thinking at this point would be to see what leasing options and subscriber models will be available. They may offer better protection from any (some?) unforeseen problems with the vehicle and/or the repair/servicing process. And whether or not they have any problems, it's safe to say future Rivian models will have improvements and more features. So perhaps after a few years I trade-in my first gen Rivian and replace it by "buying" my next Rivian that I keep for the long term.

    Finally, the question of service comes up frequently, as one would expect, at these Rivian events and we've been hearing lately they will provide "white glove" like service. It's rumored this *in part* means they will first attempt to fix the vehicle remotely, and if unsuccessful will come to you and either fix it on the spot or flatbed it to a service center while leaving you with a loaner. Sounds great but I'd like to see this officially on their website or some official announcement. And there's also the question will the "white glove" service be available regardless of how you purchased the vehicle?

    Just too many unknowns to land on a purchasing option at this point.
     
    Domenick likes this.
  3. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    2,101
    Great post and thanks for sharing that video. I just ended up watching the whole thing because it was fascinating to see what RJ was saying then when not many were paying attention compared to now: pretty much the same thing. Which is good, of course.

    It sounded to me like, at the time, RJ was suggesting that the subscription might involve the vehicle being at your disposal for short, possibly irregular periods -- a weekend here a couple weeks there. In my mind, though, a subscription would be for a bit longer periods...maybe six months or something, with everything (service, charging away from home, maybe even insurance, etc.) included in one price.

    Normally, I wouldn't be so interested in this sort of arrangement, but as you say, the first product froma new company comes with inherent risk. Heck, new product from companies that have been doing this for decades is improved upon over the first model year or two. So, to protect themselves, EV buyers have used leasing as a mean of protection. A subscription could do the same thing, but possibly for shorter periods.

    Though Rivian is likely to follow their own path to some extent, I thought it might be helpful to link to the Volvo subscription site, which lays out their arrangement.
     
  4. EyeOnEVs

    EyeOnEVs Rookie

    Mar 5, 2019
    40
    Yes, I would agree. However, over a year later I would expect there to be more details available beyond Rivian's elevator responses.

    Yea, I picked up on that also regarding the possible irregular periods. But that's just it, the ambiguity back then is some-what expected; unfortunately today it still exists.

    Perhaps Rivian will offer multiple flavors of a subscription model that, say, covers varying lengths or availability subscription periods, or whatever other subscription features that would vary across the subscription models.

    Good reference to the Volvo subscription, thanks. As I mentioned about usually keeping my vehicles for the long term, I haven't paid much attention to leasing options let alone a subscription model. To be honest the first I read about a subscription model was when I read about the Atlis XT. I'll have to pay more attention to it so I can see where RIvian's subscription model(s) land when they get around to releasing more information.
     

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