Electric car startup Rivian is lobbying Colorado and other U.S. states to allow it to sell vehicles directly to consumers rather than through traditional franchised dealerships, Auto News reports.
As Rivian prepares to commence production of its electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV models this year, it is lobbying a move in Colorado to change franchised laws. Local lawmakers as early as this week could vote on a bill that may allow car manufacturers, even those with existing franchised dealerships, to sell their electric vehicles directly to customers.
Rivian believes direct sales are essential to its business model as it will not be able to mass-produce thousands of EVs for dealership lots. Rivian’s vice president of public policy James Chen revealed during testimony in Washington state on February 4 that the company’s vehicles will be made to order based on customer specifications.
Rivian threw its support behind a bill in Washington state to allow sales direct to customers although this measure is presumed dead for the current legislative term.
“Our bill will not interfere with their contracts between [dealers] and their manufacturers,” Chen said. “This is about opening up Colorado to additional investment and allowing a new entrant with an exciting new technology to be able to invest in Colorado.”
Rivian intends on scouting sites across the United States where it could open factory stores before applying for licenses at these locations. The company has already secured a dealer license in Arizona and is seeking licenses in Illinois, Massachusetts, California, and Florida.