Mobile service. Once it was a fantasy for anyone other than supercar owners, then Tesla that worked reasonably well. Now, Rivian is hoping to take the foundations of what Tesla has done and make it better.
Rivian revealed its plans for service in an announcement made on Thursday, and like Tesla, it will offer mobile service — this time in vans rather than modified sedans. It will also have brick-and-mortar service centers in 40 locations in the US and Canada, combined with a loaner vehicle program.
Like the McLaren F1 of yore, the Rivian R1T and R1S will come with remote diagnostic capabilities, but unlike the McLaren F1, you won’t need to plug your Rivian into a phone jack at night. Instead, it will wirelessly communicate with the Rivian mothership and alert Rivian service if something is amiss or worn out. Rivian will then alert you so a mobile tech can be dispatched to deal with it. Cool, right?
Rivian also took the step of establishing a network of Rivian-owned collision centers, as well as certifying a bunch of existing body shops to handle crash repairs. This is a big deal for a new brand, but the trick will be making sure parts availability is up to snuff, lest you run into the kinds of issues thata few years ago with unreasonably long repair times.
Service such as scheduling, tracking and notifications are handled through Rivian’s app or via the phone. The app also allows you to look at the work order and approve work before it happens, as well as manage the details of your service appointment.
In all, it seems like Rivian has a reasonably comprehensive plan here, and hopefully, it’s able to avoid some of the pitfalls that other manufacturers have experienced before.