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As Rivian EVs’ First Deliveries Near, Startup Seeks More Ways to Stand Out

BY SEBASTIAN BLANCO | CarAndDriver.Com

Troy Warren #carnews-all

Rivian’s own-brand insurance will offer rewards for using safety tech, employees will fan out across the U.S. to show off the R1S SUV and R1T pickup, and there’s more.

– Want to work for Rivian? The startup EV maker is looking to hire more than 1500 people, including Event Team workers, to promote the brand directly to potential buyers. An especially noteworthy perk for employees, the InsideEVs blog has reported, is a $1000-per-month incentive if they buy their own R1S SUVor R1T truck.

– Customers can have a Rivian Guide give a full tour of their new EV when they get it delivered, as well as buy insurance direct from Rivian that will give out rewards when they use the EV’s advanced safety technology.

– Rivian has already announced a massive 175,000-mile warranty and an “Adventure Network” of EV chargers, but clearly it’s going to do more to stand out.

Startup electric-vehicle companies and ambitious plans seem to go hand in hand. Whether it’s Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Martian dreams or Nio building battery swap stations overseas, new automakers like to do things their own way. If you take a look at what Rivian is up to, you’ll see it fits the pattern quite well.

We’ll start with some of the Rivian tidbits we already knew about, like a 175,000-mile warranty for the battery pack and electric drivetrain components in the company’s upcoming R1S SUVs and R1T pickup trucks, and the Adventure Network of 3500 proprietary DC fast chargers at 600 stations to charge up its electric vehicles.

But these are not the only way Rivian is trying to gets its electric truck and SUV to stand out in one of the busiest automotive segments: large electrified vehicles. The first customer vehicles are supposed to be delivered this summer (although placing a new order today means you have to wait until January 2022), and Rivian will not only bring your new vehicle direct to your home but will also either give you the keys as part of a “touchless experience,” or you can have a Rivian Guide give you a comprehensive tour of your new EV. And if you purchase a Rivian EV and then decide you actually don’t like it, you can return it within seven days or 1000 miles.


 

Rivian will offer its own financial services, which is common for an automaker, but it also plans to sell its own comprehensive vehicle insurance, which will also cover things such as Rivian accessories and off-roading. And, if you use your EV’s standard Driver+ Active Driving Assistance safety technology—which can automatically steer and adjust your speed on the highway, for example—the company says you can reduce your insurance costs by earning rewards at renewal. The full details on Rivian Insurance are not publicly available, but we do know that Rivian works with third-party insurance carriers, including Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, for its coverage. Also, for starters, Rivian Insurance will only be available in 40 states.

As for actually producing its EVs, Rivian recently got approval to expand its manufacturing site in Normal, Illinois, by 380 acres. It plans to build a solar-powered charging canopy to power up new vehicles right when they come off the line. 

Of course, Rivian will need to hire people to fulfill these many ambitious goals. The company currently lists more than 1500 job openings, including a dozen or so Event Team Manager spots across the U.S. People hired for these customer service and event jobs will be spending four months on the road across the country (and maybe Canada) promoting Rivian’s EVs at demonstration drives with a tour team made up of more than 20 people.

Rivian employees who end up buying one of the company’s EVs could get more than a traditional automaker employee discount. InsideEVs reported on a thread on the Rivian Owners Forum where people with company connections posted about a 24-month, $1000-a-month payment discount for employees who buy a R1S or R1T. Rivian hasn’t yet replied to our request to confirm this deal. The R1S and R1T are priced starting in the $75,000 range.