A bill that would allow Rivian to sell directly to consumers in Colorado has cleared a major hurdle.
Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian has cause for celebration as a bill that would allow the auto startup to conduct direct-to-consumer sales in Colorado has passed the state's House Energy & Environment committee. Senate Bill 167 hasn't been signed into law just yet, but it appears that Colorado auto dealers have turned neutral on the bill after an amendment that explicitly bars legacy automakers from competing with dealer franchises in the state.
Previously, the wording of the bill was such that a manufacturer with an established dealer franchise in Colorado, such as Ford or Volkswagen, conceivably could have conducted their own direct-to-consumer EV sales in the state.
The latest amendment to the bill corrects that, allowing only those manufacturers with no established dealer network in Colorado to sell EVs directly to consumers, The Colorado Sun reports. With that objection now out of the way, Senate Bill 167 is expected to pass the House and move on to the governor's desk for final passage.
After the bill passes, Rivian Vice President of Public Policy James Chen says, the electric vehicle startup will open a showroom in the state, where potential customers can view the company's products and place an order, along with service centers and numerous EV charging stations that use standard plug types.
"It absolutely means it clears the pathway for us," Chen says. "It's a great example of how a number of different stakeholders with various interests are looking at this as an opportunity to serve Colorado consumers. Rivian very much wants to provide [a] seamless experience for Coloradans."
Rivian is expected to start production of its first pure-electric production vehicle, the Rivian R1T pickup truck, late this year, followed by the mechanically similar R1S utility vehicle early in 2021. Both are based on a flexible "skateboard" architecture that the company plans to license to other automakers, with Ford being the first customer.