Featured Rivian setting stage for introduction of a test drive program

Discussion in 'Rivian General Discussions' started by EyeOnRivian, May 4, 2019.

  1. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    #1 EyeOnRivian, May 4, 2019
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    If you're as anxious as I am to drive one of these EVs to help determine to either submit or keep your pre-order deposit, this will come as welcomed news. :handsinair: Here's an excerpt from a Teslarati article dated May 3rd:

    "Rivian appears to be setting the stage for the introduction of a test drive program for its first two vehicles, the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV. Such a program will bode well for Rivian, as it will give potential customers a chance to experience the company’s vehicles firsthand.

    The first hints of a potential Rivian test drive program came in the form of a Reddit post on the r/Rivian subreddit. One of the online community’s members, u/Knight_of_r_noo, attended the New York Auto Show, where he was reportedly able to speak with Rivian’s team, including CEO RJ Scaringe. According to the electric truck enthusiast, Rivian is planning on doing a roadshow around the United States to let people experience the R1T and R1S. Details of the program are reportedly being ironed out by the electric truck maker.

    Yet another hint at Rivian’s test drive program came in the form of a job listing that the company recently posted online. ...
    "​

    Not to get ahead of myself but the two next obvious questions are when and where. :whatsgoingon:

    Source: https://www.teslarati.com/rivian-r1t-r1s-test-drives/
     
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  2. Jason's Rivian

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    Good idea. I hope they will bring out other pickups and SUVs to compare live against on an obstacle course. It won't even be a fair fight though since there's really no EV competitors in the pickup and SUV segments (except Model X).
     
  3. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    I would be very surprised if they had any other vehicles there besides their own. As you said, there really isn't a true competitor in these two segments. I believe Rivian's primary intent here is to simply allow the public to not only get up close and personal with the R1T and R1S but actually see how they perform which has not been possible at the events they have been attending.

    Whether Rivian was planning this along or finally tuning into the potential of lost sales due to lack of pre-purchase access to their vehicles, IMHO this is a smart move on their part. There has been plenty of comments from potential buyers and even those with a pre-order deposit, including myself, that when the time comes to actually place the order and we haven't at least sat in either of them, let alone test drive it, orders will not placed and pre-orders canceled.

    So it will be interesting to see where and when they will be holding this "test drive program." Even though the job posting lists the location of Arizona, it also indicates "willing to travel “upwards of 75% of the time.”

    InsideEVs posted their take on this today: https://insideevs.com/news/348359/rivian-r1t-r1s-test-drives-forthcoming/
     
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  4. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    I had always assumed that one would be able to test drive a vehicle before confirming an order, although it might not always be at a convenient location. A good number of people did order early Teslas without test driving them, but at the time anyone who wanted an EV with decent range and performance really had no choice other than a Tesla. By late 2020 there are going to be quite a few choices, although perhaps none squarely in Rivian's "adventure vehicle" niche.

    But the choice for potential customers is not always going to be whether to buy a Rivian or an ICE pickup or SUV. Sometimes the choice might be between a Rivian and an entirely different type of EV. In my case, for instance, I have deposits down on both a Rivian R1S and a Lucid Air. They are utterly different types of vehicles, but each has it own set of appeals to me. A lot of which way I go might come down to test drives and how good I think each is at executing its particular mission. If I can test drive only one, that one will likely win by default.
     
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  5. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    The model X is a POS to ride in. It's hard to get into the rear seats and those stupid gull-wing doors?? Really? They are always in the way. I drove my dad's x and hated it.
     
  6. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Model S and love everything about it except the cramped rear seat accommodations. I have twice test-driven a Model X (one with and one without the rear captain's chairs), trying to convince myself it would capture the strengths of the Model S while providing more rear seat room.

    While I wouldn't quite call it a POS, it is certainly a bad misfire on several fronts. It has less cargo space than a Model S; the rear seats are barely more capacious than in the Model S (I'm 5'8" and my head almost hits the glass roof, which heats up like a griddle in south Florida); the gull wing doors are slow and annoying; and body flexion when passing over railroad crossings or rough road patches was noticeable. It is to Tesla what the Edsel was to Ford and the Pontiac Aztec was to GM -- too faddishly designed, still ugly, and something best forgotten.

    Oh, wait . . . maybe I would call it a POS.
     
  7. jds3266

    jds3266 New Member

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    I would expect they would give preference to those who put down deposits. Anyone have solid news on that?
     
  8. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have solid news on your expectation they would give preference to those with pre-orders? Always enjoy a trick question. ;):) Kidding aside, I suspect you meant any news toward the test drove program ... Personally I have not yet read anything official from Rivian. My impressions of Rivian is they tend to not announce something until either it's ready or very close to being ready (i.e. in stealth mode for over 9 yrs before showing "working" prototypes, announce attendance to events with little lead time (IMO), etc). Given that I suspect in addition to hiring people to run the program they probably won't announce anything until they work out most, if not all, of the logistics.
     
  9. jds3266

    jds3266 New Member

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    I normally don't type till I've had a cup of coffee... I'm more inclined to be eloquent after caffeine.
     
  10. ElectricTrucking

    ElectricTrucking Well-Known Member

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    If you haven't already posted this comment on the Tesla forum please do. I'm sure your well founded statement will be well received. LOL
     
  11. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I've posted plenty of pros and cons on the Tesla forums. They're about as balanced as any other car forum (I've been on several brand forums over the years): die-hard fan boys, die-hard haters, and plenty of people who can like and dislike something about a product without soaring into absurd hyperbole. The two die-hard camps dominated in the early days of the Tesla forums, but as the public experience with EVs has evolved, the cadre of more balanced commentators has grown.

    Although there are a couple of people on this Rivian forum that seem pre-disposed to dismiss EVs, it has generally benefited by the maturing of understanding about EVs, and it is one of the saner and more truly informative of the auto forums I've seen. It'll be interesting to see where it goes once the products actually get into people's hands.
     
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  12. ElectricTrucking

    ElectricTrucking Well-Known Member

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    Yes indeed.
     
  13. Jr Trated

    Jr Trated New Member

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  14. Jr Trated

    Jr Trated New Member

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    I think the process is far as a retail standpoint and thoughts it's log I don't agree which how this is being thawed out and I agree with some of the other responses on this issue awesome one yeah if I put out $1,000 to order a product it is completely new that I never experienced in my life order it and wait X number of weeks for it to get here and say the color that it comes in did not quite exactly what I want or the options what event are available I don't like and agree with and I have never driven it he gets here and I don't like it I'm only about $1,000 in so many people if they do this on an $80,000 purchase will leave it set if they order another unit now then they can take the money and possibly order the other units then you've already got a product that's been made and it's not something that somebody is going to take so why not give an option in the beginning for them to choose from and drive not just one unit in one place for them to go to to test it out and make a decision off of that I for one wouldn't do it. I think the process needs to be rethought and I do think that there should be a couple of options out there as far as having the availability of looking at different since I'm Different Vehicles housing different units at a location I understand the thoughts of being able to downsize and look at not having as much cost out there but if you want me to only one vehicle to drive at a time don't have the option availability of looking at different colors on different vehicles and different options on different vehicles in that line regardless of making it's a nominal product it's going to be something is for me different than anything else the intentions on being able to move the unit are going to diminish cuz you are cutting in to the amount of sales that you could cause was make and also creating yourself a problem because if you order something and it's not what you want or you're not happy or satisfied with it people are only out $1,000 on a $80,000 or $75,000 purchase can you go to start Having excess Vehicles here and there and everywhere because it's not what somebody might have wanted I just think that something I just need to be rethought and I think that there needs to be an idea put out there a little bit better as far as a retail standpoint of giving some ability to look at different things because you're going to end up losing more customers because you don't have the option or availability to actually see it or touch it
     
  15. Nordic

    Nordic New Member

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  16. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    @Jr Trated Not really following what you're trying to say nor how it relates to the test drive program. Plus, looks like the period button on your keyboard is broken which makes it even harder to read/understand.
     
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  17. jimcgov3

    jimcgov3 Well-Known Member

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    1000% agree. I wanted to understand what the point was...
     
  18. Craig W.

    Craig W. New Member

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    You shouldn't loose your $1000 deposit, Jr Trated, if you choose not to purchase a Rivian. BTW, I'm curious now... how many here are also Tesla owners?
     
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  19. Alan Burns

    Alan Burns Well-Known Member

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    Once the factory in Normal, Il is up and running Rivian will start training assembly workers by building cars one at a time. This will work through assembly actions, parts flow and how to not scratch paint, wrinkle carpet and cut into seat leather. When the assembly is complete there is an example to test drive and debug. That should give Rivian 50-100 'prototype' vehicles to send out across the US, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Japan and Europe for reservation holders to drive.

    I think the prototypes could be on the road in late 2019 or early 2020.
     
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  20. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    Clearly the test drive program can't begin until Rivian can pop out a few cars. Your executive level overview of what needs to happen is certainly reasonable, but it's speculative unless you happen to know someone that works at Rivian. :whatsgoingon: I'm sure Rivian has a timeline all laid out up to (and beyond) when the first EAV will roll off the production floor. Personally, the challenge for this nail-biter (figuratively) besides exercising patience in this long game, is to weed thru the small, very general morsels of information Rivian has released or alleged to have released to date.

    Off the top of my head (so I might be forgetting something) this is what I've officially heard or read from Rivian in either videos or interviews. Perhaps those who have been at Rivian sponsored or attended events can expand on or provide updates to this.

    * Factory readiness - Plant manager (?) mentioned in an interview the plant should be ready by end of September 2019.
    * Configure vehicles to place orders - RJ and others have recently mentioned this should occur latter in 2019. I'm assuming this process may involve additional financing / payment or at least signing some such document obligating you to such payment including some penalty for canceling. (Not interested in how Tesla did this. I want to know how Rivian plans on rolling this out.)
    * Test drive program - Officially announced but no details of where/when yet.
    * Production launch - I mostly hear from Rivian late 2020, but from my pre-order confirmation email: "Production will begin in 2020." Additionally, "Fully equipped vehicles with the highest performance level and largest battery pack will enter production first. Our 180 kWh and 135 kWh packs will be available at launch with the 105 kWh to follow in 2021."

    Regarding Rivian indicating we can start configuring our vehicle orders before the end of the year - That's great, but IMO (and I know others) Rivian will need to start releasing additional specs about the EAVs, warranty, servicing, and such before than. This includes being able to at least sit in either EAV, let alone take it for a test drive, before committing to an order. Otherwise, they better be prepared to start processing requests to cancel pre-orders and refund deposits.
     
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