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Zorg

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With the limited range of EV vans (150 miles or so), they're better suited to fixed route delivery than anything else. I'm sure that some small businesses can make it work, but it's not as easy. Whereas Amazon has plenty of space in it's warehouses to install banks of chargers
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NY_Rob

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Without Amazon and their EDV order and support.. there probably wouldn't be a Rivian.

Rivian's got plenty on their plate currently (new factory in GA, fixing R1 vehicle design issues, get the factory running at full capacity, the whole R2 line of vehicles, etc...), but no reason to believe they won't eventually get into blue collar service vans.
 

Dark-Fx

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BrightDrop is an interesting platform but

I've been on the list-serv for BrightDrop but don't own a company/business that requires commercial vans (this would be just to build out for a camper). Did they talk about pricing/lead time? I participated in one of their virtual tours and was disappointed in the fit/finish of the van; definitely more utilitarian with some hokey frame seats that looked more akin to a school bus from the 1990s.
Sales guy said he's travelling currently and will get back with me ASAP. I suspect the pricing is going to be higher than I'd expect, internet rumors say $85k. They are targeting last mile delivery stuff so far I suspect.
 

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Sales guy said he's travelling currently and will get back with me ASAP. I suspect the pricing is going to be higher than I'd expect, internet rumors say $85k. They are targeting last mile delivery stuff so far I suspect.
Nice! Keep us updated +/- EDV pricing/availability, too! :) Thank you!!
 

JCBAZ

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Source: Detroit Free Press

This is what Ford CEO Jim Farley recently had to say about Rivian's van strategy:

“Rivian has one customer. Amazon.”​
“Rivian only has a van for delivery. 95 percent of the commercial industry is small-medium sized business with like 1,000 different locations. Last-product-delivery is like tiny, tiny. … I mean, FedEx, UPS, they’re great. But I want the plumber who’s got five vans. They don’t have a fleet manager. Everything is super confusing to them. They don’t even have time for the vehicles to go to a dealer and schedule it. They’re really underserved. The big fleets are overserved. They can do it all themselves. They’re huge.”​
“I always told (Rivian CEO) RJ (Scaringe), ‘Are you sure you want to bet on Amazon? Don’t you want to go after all the real customers?’ But, that’s what he decided to do,” Farley added. “Rivian and the reality of the commercial business couldn’t be more different. Also, most commercial customers aren’t going electric.”​

You guys agree or disagree with Farley?
Sounds like jealously to me.
 

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Donald Stanfield

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This guy is a CEO of a major company and he cannot see the really obvious strategy of Rivian partnering with Amazon? I think that this guy knows the obvious but he is just full of shit. The reason Rivian secured the Amazon deal, and even were willing to provide exclusivity, was for the IPO and Wall Street.

When Rivian announced the deal they were needing to get the sort of funding necessary to launch their startup business. Big deals with huge companies like Amazon look much better in a stock prospectus than Joe the plumber and his 4 service vans do. Farley saying what he did was stupid, simply because the reason why Rivian did what they did made perfect sense for the position they were in.

Getting a contract for a guaranteed 100K vans over 10 years is the sort of anchor Rivian needed to get their producing rolling. They will be out of the exclusivity end of the deal in a couple years thanks to their renegotiation and at that point they can target the local service professionals. Jim Farley has a point in that EDVs will be a big hit for the smaller fleet customers simply because electric service vans will be great.

I started out as a trade professional then transitioned to white collar through that and some additional education. I would have loved a Rivian EDV as a service van. Most of those people are running relatively short distances every day and the way the EDV is designed with the extra space, low center of gravity and extra features and amenities like the GPS screen and cameras make it an ideal vehicle for medium to large city service calls.
 

Dark-Fx

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Getting a contract for a guaranteed 100K vans over 10 years is the sort of anchor Rivian needed to get their producing rolling.
Yeah, how is this better than being beholden to a third party entity in order to sell your vehicles to end users one at a time? /s
 

EmPickle

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If your fleet management works for Amazon, you can easily get it down to working on an app for a plumber or electrician with 5 trucks. And you'll know if your truck is at the job or not, how long until it gets to it's next appointment, etc.

Of the major automakers, Ford seems to be doing the best but the big 3 are struggling to adapt to an electrified transportation world.
 

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How many customers is a start up expected to start with?
 

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spurcap

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I think their strategy works. Enough enthusiasts (myself included) are happy to buy a $70-100k truck from a start-up - risk management be damned - because .... fun!
If I had a small business that needed, say, 10 vans I don't know if I would do it now. The risk of the company failing, the risk of significant downtime with repair waits currently, a product that is not fully proven, etc, etc. Amazon using the EDV for 5 years successfully gives the product credibility with smaller businesses. I would be alot more likely to invest in a small order for 5 or 10 EDVs in 2029 after Amazon has made it a go to service vehicle and the product is not in its infancy.
 

kylealden

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If you're production-limited and SKU-limited, as Rivian is, there are fewer things more appealing than a single customer than can gulp down your entire output, has the flexibility and commitment to scale up infrastructure/training to adopt your product as you scale manufacturing, and is a willing partner in design, experimentation, testing, and iteration.

If you're an established multinational incumbent trying to convince dealers worldwide to transition sales to hundreds of thousands of commercial customers away from gas vans, you have very different priorities.

As Rivian scales, their approach will need to evolve. But in the meantime, there's a reason incumbents aren't good at being startups, and it's worth taking their advice with that giant grain of salt.


(As a slightly more snarky take, it's worth remembering that Amazon employs as many local delivery drivers and covers as many routes as probably the top ten thousand small businesses combined. And, after Amazon, UPS/FedEx/USPS/DHL/Safeway/Wal-Mart/etc. probably look pretty juicy as potential fleet adoptees too. Rivian's competing for them, not for the local flower shop.)
 

Zoidz

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”Also, most commercial customers aren’t going electric.”
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943.


And the same was said about Rental Car Fleets - no EVs. someone forgot to tell Hertz that. I just got back from a business trip to Atlanta, rented a Tesla M3.… oooops.
 
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gregtay

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i wonder why "everything is confusing to them"... maybe because OEMs are the ones who historically sold them commercial vans? hmmm...

this doesnt fly and its just pure fluff and tactic to try to put Rivian in a negative light because they know if Rivian succeeds with Amazon (which they seem to be doing) they will succeed with smaller businesses.

but Rivian needs to get out of that exclusivity with Amazon ASAP or they will get left behind by having only one customer
I am guessing the other big thing that the Amazon ties have an impact on: Carplay and AA. My guess is the Amazon investment contract notes that consumer focused vehicles MUST use Alexa exclusively (cannot enable (even via 3rd party software) Siri or Google voice integration into the car. That basically prevents CarPlay and AA enablement.)
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