With one service center open, Rivian plans second in Colorado as push for electric vehicles revs up – The Denver Post

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Denver is home to one of Rivian’s 28 service centers and the company that makes electric pickup trucks and SUVs expects to open a second location in Colorado soon as the push for more electric vehicles continues in the state.
Rivian opened its center in north Denver a little more than a year ago and provides services to more than 1,000 vehicles in the area, said spokeswoman Miranda Jimenez. The center is where people pick up the vehicles they order and can test drive the futuristic-looking pickup, the R1T, or Rivian’s SUV, the R1S.
Jimenez said there are thousands of people in the Denver area who have Rivians on order.
Rivian also makes electric delivery vans for Amazon. The e-commerce giant’s all-electric vans hit Denver-area streets for the first time in late 2022.
About 30 people work at the service center. Jimenez said the company is hiring more employees and plans to open a service center in Colorado Springs in the summer.
Plans for expansion come as the state steps up efforts to make more electric vehicles available in Colorado. The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission has approved a plan to require a certain percentage of medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold in the state be electric vehicles or ones that run off of hydrogen fuel cells, starting in 2027.
Brian Simms of Arvada and his wife ended up buying their first electric vehicles around the same time. His wife got a Kia EV6, a compact SUV, and Simms went to the service center around Thanksgiving last year to get the Rivian SUV he ordered in 2020.
“I didn’t really know how long it was going to be. It’s one of those interesting situations where you’re supporting a startup,” Simms said.
He figured he could have gotten a refund on his deposit if he didn’t like the vehicle once it arrived. But Simms is happy with his Rivian, which he said does a good job of combining comfort with performance.
“Every car that I’ve had in the past has had some level of fun and utility and this car has that exact same thing. It just takes it to a different level,” Simms said.
The Rivian SUV is also the most expensive vehicle Simms has ever bought. Prices start at about $75,000. The average price tag is in the mid-$80,000 range, said Jeff MekusRivian’s field service supervisor in Denver.
Rivian began production of its first model, a pickup truck, at its plant in Normal, Ill., in late 2021. The company has struggled with supply-chain disruptions that were aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2022, Rivian missed its production goal of 25,000 vehicles by roughly 700.The company also reported total losses of $6.8 billion last year.
But The New York Times reported that Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said in February that demand for the vehicles remains strong and the company expects to produce 50,000 vehicles this year.
Under the new federal tax credits for electric vehicles, Rivians are eligible for just half the amount: $3,750. The incentives apply to EVs that are built in North America and have a certain percentage of components and minerals in the batteries that come from the U.S. or its trade allies.
Mekus declined to disclose numbers for the sales at the center, but he said the volume of deliveries and service appointments is more than he expected. “It’s pretty cool to come to work, which is a four-mile drive, and see two or three Rivians on my way.”
The Rivian pickup, which is more compact than the Ford F-150 Lightning EV, has a range of approximately 310 miles per charge.
“It really depends on how you drive. Anything above 75 (mph), you start to see the range drop,” Mekus said.
The SUV’s range varies from 260 miles to about 320 miles, according to Rivian. The company says its vehicles with four motors, one on each wheel, produce more than 800 horsepower and more than 900 pound-feet of torque.
“Eventually there will be a dual-motor version, two singular motors, which will be a little cheaper to produce,” Mekus said.
Features include 11 cameras that start recording if someone gets close to the vehicle or hits it in a parking lot. There are “rolling software updates” to the vehicles, Mekus said. An adjustable air suspension can raise and lower the vehicle’s height and change the ride from “super sporty” to extremely comfortable.
Simms said his SUV performs well on or off road. “It’s as fast or as performative as I’d want it to be.”
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About the author

James Williams

James Williams

James W. is a software engineer turned journalist. He focuses on software updates, cybersecurity, and the digital world. With a background in Computer Science, he brings a deep understanding of software ecosystems. James is also a competitive gamer and loves to attend tech meetups.