Rivian, Tesla, Auto Dealers, & Anti-Capitalist State Laws

Last Friday, I talked with Vice President of Public Policy at Rivian James Chen for our CleanTech Talk podcast series. A video recording of our one-hour discussion is now online for CleanTechnica Members, Supporters, Technicians, and Ambassadors to view on YouTube. If you fit one of those levels of support, you can watch the video on the bottom of this article.

We talked a bit about the broader electric vehicle market and how the various EV startups and serious EV efforts from legacy automakers are all partners in the mission to phase out fossil-powered vehicles, but the bulk of the discussion was about why the ability to sell directly to customers is critical for EV startups and how that is being blocked in many US states — a problem found nowhere else in the world.

Now that Rivian is on the verge of bringing its vehicles to market, it is facing the same challenges (and more) that Tesla has faced for years trying to sell its vehicles directly to customers in the United States. James Chen and his team are tackling the problem, and he spoke with CleanTechnica about many of the details of this and related matters. Jim has worked on this issue for a long time, as he was previously at Tesla from 2010 to April 2016, where he ended as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Deputy General Counsel before moving on.

I'll write more about the discussion next week when we publish the podcast for everyone on our CleanTech Talk show. But if you want to check the discussion out early, do so here:

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