Rivian launches EV leasing program in 14 states

What just happened? Rivian has rolled out a leasing program that will provide interested parties another option to get into an electric vehicle. The program is reserved for “very well qualified buyers,” and is termed for 36 months with 30,000 miles. Details will vary depending on vehicle options but in one scenario, Rivian said a qualified lessee could get a Rivian R1T Adventure Package for $859 per month with $6,754 due at signing.

Rivian’s lease program is only available in 14 states initially: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. The program will be expanded to additional markets over time, we are told.

A quick check of available configurations in my area suggests lease models are largely limited to vehicles with premium options. Only one was offered under $90,000, and just barely ($89,500). According to Rivian’s website, the R1T starts at $78,000.

Also worth mentioning is that Rivian is only leasing its R1T pickup right now.

Notably, Rivian said lease customers will see a $7,500 capital cost reduction (federal tax credit) applied to their vehicle subtotal during the purchasing process. Oddly enough, buying a Rivian outright only qualifies for half of the tax credit due to regulations on where vehicles or components are built.

A spokesperson told CNBC that the EV maker is working with Chase on financing for the lease program, and said it chose the 14 launch states based on where their customers are located and where leasing is most popular.

Leasing isn’t right for everyone, but it can be a good fit in some circumstances. Those new to EVs might want to see how an electric vehicle fits into their lifestyle on a longer-term basis than a simple weekly rental could afford. Road warriors, however, probably want to avoid a lease like this as a penalty is incurred for every mile over the allotment of 30,000 (in this case, billed at $0.30 per mile over) and for “excess vehicle wear.”

Image credit: Wes Hicks, Clayton Cardinalli

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