Rivian Charging Ahead

15 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2021

See all articles by Timothy M. Laseter

Timothy M. Laseter

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business; Emory University - Goizueta Business School; University of Navarra, IESE Business School; London Business School; New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Aldo Sesia

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

Electric vehicle (EV) start-up Rivian would soon be making the first deliveries of its EV pickup and sport-utility vehicle (SUV) in fall 2021. Adam Happel (MBA '08), head of Consumer Energy Solutions, was responsible for getting home charging stations to Rivian's customers. He was, to say the least, very busy. He was also keenly following the company's plans to create networks of public charging stations across the United States and Canada. While the rollout of these networks was not Happel's direct responsibility, it did affect his marketing plans. Given his ties to Virginia, he was particularly interested in how Rivian would build out the charging network along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Where should the charging stations be located? How many charging stations were needed? What types of chargers should the company install? How should the company's leadership be thinking about these options?

Excerpt

UVA-OM-1749

Oct. 6, 2021

Charging Ahead

As head of Consumer Energy Solutions for electric vehicle start-up Rivian, Adam Happel (MBA '08) had come to expect the unexpected on a daily basis. Rivian had designed two vehicles targeted to outdoor enthusiasts: a pickup truck called R1T and a sport utility vehicle (SUV) called R1S (see Exhibit1). First deliveries to customers were initially scheduled for 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the delivery dates to the fall of 2021.

Happel was in charge of consumer energy and charging solutions. This meant that he was accountable for customers who purchased a home-charging station for their Rivian vehicle, and with vehicles soon to be delivered to customers, Happel was, to say the least, very busy.

Meanwhile, the company was moving ahead with plans to create networks of charging stations across the United States and Canada. While the rollout of these networks was not Happel's direct responsibility, it did affect his marketing plans for home charging products. Given his ties to Virginia, he was particularly interested in how Rivian would build out the charging network along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Where should the charging stations be located? How many charging stations were needed? What types of chargers should the company install? How should the leadership be thinking about these options? These questions were swirling around Happel's mind.

. . .

Keywords: Rivian, electric vehicles, EV, green energy, sustainability, charging stations, Blue Ridge Parkway, electric car, electric truck, EV batteries, infrastructure

Suggested Citation

Laseter, Timothy M. and Sesia, Aldo, Rivian Charging Ahead. Darden Case No. UVA-OM-1749, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3942720 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3942720

Timothy M. Laseter (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/laseter.htm

Emory University - Goizueta Business School ( email )

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-2722
United States

University of Navarra, IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

Aldo Sesia

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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