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

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

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  1. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    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?

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  3. EyeOnEVs

    EyeOnEVs New Member

    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.
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  4. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    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.
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  5. EyeOnEVs

    EyeOnEVs New Member

    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.
  6. Roger Rion

    Roger Rion New Member

    For the past 6 years, I have leased my trucks. Primarily to experience each one with the thought that once all are driven, I would purchase the brand I enjoyed the most. Each one has been a two-year lease and for me, this is perfect as I drive 10K or less a year. The residual value is good when I trade it in on the next brand. So far I've gone through 2015 Ford Platinum, 2017 RAM Limited and currently will be finishing the lease on a 2019 Tundra Platinum. I was planning a Chevy next but now I am becoming more interested in the electric trucks soon to enter the market. An electric truck is just perfect for me as never tow a trailer and all my trips are in and around town. Additionally, I had a 50amp electrical box in the garage when I built our new house (just in case).

    My plan to purchase after trying the big four has become less attractive, however. I love new technology, a moderately early adapter of the same and technology is rapidly expanding in the truck market. Therefore for one, I would much prefer to lease my first Rivian if there is a reasonable residual value attached to it. For sure, I would not buy one without having some understanding of its worth a few years later.
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  8. Mukund

    Mukund New Member

    Leasing would be a good option to consider...
  9. EyeOnEVs

    EyeOnEVs New Member

    FYI in case you haven't seen this yet. The following has been on Rivian's website for a while now.

    Source: https://rivian.com/support/article/will-you-offer-leasing

    Will you offer leasing?
    We are not offering leasing at this time. You can, however, apply for financing through Rivian Financial Services or bring your own. We'll help you finalize your purchase method as we approach production.

    And it's looking like Rivian will not be offering any type of a subscription plan, at least not initially, but we're still a few months away from the R1T production launch in June.
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  10. Timothy McDowell

    Timothy McDowell New Member

    I haven't ever leased a vehicle. I never even considered it. Like EyeOnEVs, I tend to drive the wheels off. My F-150 is a 2005 with over 235,000 miles. My Harley is a 2008 with 93,000 miles. However, some very valid points were raised about a new product from a new company coming with a lot of uncertainties. Most compelling would be watching for the future iterations to come out then trade the lease in for the purchase. It's ironic that the first time that I might actually lease, it's not an option. I am encouraged by the amount of testing that Rivian has been doing. I'll just have to hope for the best and not drool too much if future models come out with options that I would have liked.
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  11. Cquail

    Cquail New Member

    I did not sign up for launch edition of RT1. Earliest I can get RT1 is 2022. I am anxious to see the support Rivian gives to the earliest adopters. There will be problems, so Rivian needs to bend over backwards to take care of these quickly for the first buyers.
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  13. Fred Golden

    Fred Golden New Member

    I was looking over this web post, and wondered "What is a subscription?" If this means a 15 - 30 day lease, it might be a great idea! For anyone wanting to make sure that a electric vehicle would be right for them, then getting ahold of a Rivian for a 15 - 30 day timeframe would be great. They could use a smaller portable 20 - 30 amp 240 volt charger, that while it will take several hours to recharge the Rivian, it can be done.

    So once they have produced many dozens of Rivians, I would like to see them start a lease or rental program to let prospective owners try out the vehicle before buying one. Perhaps Rivian has build several hundred test vehicles, and if they do not or are not able to sell them as "New" vehicles, they could use them for company cars, and then sell them or rent them for a time.

    I don't think it would be advisable for most customers to buy a already registered electric vehicle, as the $7,500 IRS rebate for electric vehicles is for "New" and not previously owned vehicles. There may be exceptions, such as someone who already bought two electric cars this tax year, or a corporation that will not need the tax rebate.

    Perhaps the "Easy" way would be to sell a few Rivian's to Hertz or another rental company, who could rent them out.

    My suggestion is if you rent a Rivian, you get a rider on your current auto policy for that rental period, then it will be covered by your policy for a nominal fee, probably less than $100 to cover the $75,000 vehicle and the rent of that vehicle should it be in a accident and need a couple of weeks for repair.
  14. Fred Golden

    Fred Golden New Member

    Roger, I am fairly sure that you could extend the lease on your Tundra for a couple of years, and the dealership would like that! My sister recently purchased a F-450 crewcab, and it has heated, air conditioned and now Massaging seats! She loves that feature. Perhaps the electric Lightning will have that same feature?

    There are several leasing companies that will lease just about anything, from a farm tractor, to a class 8 truck, construction equipment, ect. So you do not need to have Rivian do the lease for you. Yet I think that the Ford electric truck lease will be a lot less expensive than the Rivian lease through a private leasing company.
  15. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I suspect that Rivian is not legally able to event rent out these preproduction vehicles. I like the idea, though.
  16. Fred Golden

    Fred Golden New Member

    GM was able to lease it's EV1. The primary reason I think they never sold a VE1 is supply of replacement parts.

    So if Ford makes a Edsel, and say the sales are really bad, and they only end up selling 5,000 units total. For the next 7 years, Ford must produce certain body panels, alternators, engines, transmissions, and such things for repair of those vehicles during their normal life span. This is pretty easy to do with a Mustang, and other 250,000 a year vehicle volume cars. Yet the EV1, GM would have needed to produce and have available a significant supply of replacement body, frame and other parts for a minimum of 7 years after production stopped. Say you needed a motor speed controller, GM would be required to produce one for your car, should it need one during that 7 years.

    What Ford, GM, Dodge do with their first off the line production pickups? My brother got vin number 000065 one year, and leased it from Ford as a employee. My guess is. should they find that the guy installing the brake light switch was doing it all wrong, and the first 60 pickups need to be looked at to make sure it was done right, it is just a matter of calling the mechanic at the Ford plant and say look at trucks 1 to 300 and make sure that brake light sensor switch is installed and tight.

    Rivian is offering a job description that reads "You will tow a single vehicle trailer with one new Rivian on it, and deliver that new vehicle to the customer." My guess is they might be using one of the first 100 Rivian vehicles to tow that trailer with the new vehicle on board the trailer. Great way to gather data on how the Rivian's actually tow in the real world.

    Some of the early production trucks will end up on the Insurance test tracks, and crash into a cement barrier. Passing these tests, and making sure the air bags deploy, and in a normal car that the fuel tank does not rupture are important.

    I would guess that Ford would sell many of it's lower serial number vehicles (just after the change over in tooling) might be more willing to sell them to Hertz or other places, instead of selling them to the public at large.

    What Rivian will do? I have no idea. But lets keep hoping they will do it all very soon. . ..

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