Alexa: Where is the nearest EV charger? Electric vehicles are steadily moving their way into the mainstream, as demonstrated by recent moves by Amazon. The increasing popularity of EVs means that there’s a growing need for the infrastructure to power these vehicles. Learn what Alexa vehicle integration means for the wider EV industry, and how EV Connect’s charging station solutions can benefit you.
2020 started off with a bang for the electric vehicle industry when EV manufacturer Rivian announced that all Rivian vehicles will include Amazon Alexa built into the vehicle directly, with no app or mobile device required. This followed an earlier announcement by Amazon that the company would purchase 100,000 Rivian vehicles to serve as zero-emission delivery vehicles for the company’s growing on-demand delivery service.
The Age of Electric Trucks Is About to Begin
Rivian is especially well-known in the EV industry for its trucks and SUVs. Electric SUVs and especially pickup trucks have been a long time coming, lagging many years behind the mainstream arrival of electric passenger cars. The higher performance requirements of these heavier vehicles, especially light trucks like pickups, created a bigger challenge for manufacturers to overcome, and market demand was smaller. So it made sense for EV manufacturers to focus on smaller cars.
But in recent years the industry has finally begun to deliver the first electric SUVs. And now, with the Rivian R1T scheduled for release in late 2020, the age of the electric pickup truck is finally about to begin. (The Rivian SUV model, the R1S, is currently scheduled for release in 2021.)
What Is Alexa Vehicle Integration?
AIs like Alexa can act as a personal assistant in the vehicle by handling tasks like:
- Adjusting climate controls
- Finding radio stations
- Looking up directions
- Dialing phone numbers
The goal here is to improve safety by taking the driver’s attention away from these tasks so that they can continue to focus on the road.
Taking Alexa Into The Backcountry
What makes this particularly interesting in Rivian’s case is that Rivian vehicles are being marketed as adventure vehicles. They’re specifically intended to be taken off-road and have an operating range of up to 400 miles. What this means for car AI is that Alexa is often going to be out of range of an Internet signal.
Rivian’s Alexa vehicle integration means that you can use Alexa even in the most remote location. You won’t have to worry about losing Alexa when you go off grid. This integration gives the driver the ultimate flexibility and control, enhancing the EV driving experience.
Electric Trucks Will be Targeted at Fleet Customers
Industry experts predict that the first early adopters of Rivian vehicles, and electric pickups in general, are likely to mainly be vehicle fleet managers for companies, institutions, and local governments.
That’s because, for one thing, there’s likely to be a lot of early skepticism among pickup owners in the consumer market. The electric technology will have to prove itself first, and trucks have a higher bar to clear in this respect than passenger cars do.
So, at least in the near future, fleet customers make a more logical target for Rivian vehicles and other electric trucks. For a fleet manager, the biggest interests are operating efficiently and controlling costs. Like other electric vehicles, electric pickup trucks stand to offer massive long-term savings in fuel costs and maintenance. Most fleet managers who have had to struggle with pressure on their operating budget tend to love the savings that electric cars offer. This same mentality will likely extend to electric trucks as they arrive on the market.
Fleet Managers Are Very Interested in Rivian Vehicle AI
In addition to the operating savings that come with going electric, fleet managers are very interested in technologies like Alexa vehicle integration, and truck/car AI more generally. This is because fleet vehicle drivers tend to be especially busy when they’re behind the wheel, handling phone calls, processing data, looking up directions, and so on.
By automating as much of this as possible, fleet managers are hoping to improve safety, bring down insurance costs, and improve their organization’s brand and reputation.
This is why it’s no coincidence that Rivian is integrating Amazon Alexa into all of its vehicles, while Amazon is buying 100,000 Rivian electric vehicles to serve its delivery needs. The synergies here are impressive!
Don’t Count Out Consumer Buyers, Especially The Cool Ones
This focus on fleet customers isn’t to say that Rivian vehicles aren’t for consumers. On the contrary, their brand is built upon the idea that Rivian vehicles are adventure vehicles. The private owner is front and center in the company’s strategic thinking.
This makes sense. Its R1T pickup offers some very impressive performance specs, including:
- Accelerating from 0 to 60 in just 3 seconds
- Sustaining a wading depth of up to 3 feet
- Towing up to 11,000 pounds
- Traveling up to 400 miles on a charge (as we mentioned)
This kind of performance, combined with car AI technology like Alexa, is likely to be especially appealing to outdoor recreationists, environmental conservationists, sports lovers, and to individuals and families with modern sensibilities and a love of tech.
In other words, Rivian vehicles are aiming for the “cool market,” like Tesla vehicles. This makes sense: Tesla has been far and away the most successful seller of electric vehicles in recent years.
What it All Means For The EV Industry
The market for trucks is booming: Pickup trucks are bigger sellers in the US than passenger cars are. Even among non-electric vehicles, trucks are in high demand. Rivian’s development of electric trucks is a key industry signal that it is positioned for growth. By scoring Alexa vehicle integration while also arriving on the market ahead of the competition, Rivian vehicles are going to have a serious competitive advantage in their attempt to become a major player in the industry. By helping to popularize electric pickup trucks, Rivian is creating the conditions for massive expansion in the EV industry through the 2020s and into the 2030s.
All the signs point toward substantial growth, and that offers lucrative financial opportunities for those savvy enough to recognize them. Amazon recognizes that EVs are a sound investment, and manufacturers like Rivian are expanding their offerings to reach a wider audience. Don’t miss out on this chance — take advantage of this expanding industry!
New EV Charging Infrastructure Is Needed
Growth in the EV industry due to Rivian vehicles and other manufacturers is going to create more demand for EV charging infrastructure. There are many financial incentives for purchasing and installing charging stations available through state governments and utilities. Additionally, EV drivers tend to be more affluent and better-educated—a trend that will become even more pronounced with the successful adoption of car AI technologies.
These factors are making the deployment of new EV charging stations more viable than many people realize, especially:
- Fleet managers
- Retail businesses
- Hospitality operators
- Landlords/property managers
- Healthcare facilities
- Educational campuses
- Municipal governments
If you’re in one of these categories, adding charging stations to your parking lots could be a real opportunity to grow ROI on your lots, attract better employees/clients/tenants, or help meet your organization’s environmental goals.
The Rivian vehicles of tomorrow, and all the other EVs about to come onto the market, are going to need a place to plug in. Why not your lot?
Let EV Connect Help You Manage Your Charging Stations
This is where EV Connect comes in. Once you’ve got charging units, whether it’s a couple of chargers on one lot or thousands of chargings spread across multiple cities, you need an efficient, effective way of managing your chargers.
EV Connect offers powerful EV charger networking solutions for all types of customers: fleet, corporate, and government. We also offer the multifaceted EV Cloud Platform service, which gives you powerful customization and branding tools to bring our technology to your EV drivers.
We’re excited about what Rivian vehicles are about to do for the industry, and we hope they succeed. Our networking solutions may not be as famous as Rivian’s Alexa vehicle integration, but they’re just as critical for building up the success of the industry.
Contact EV Connect today for a free consultation to discuss the benefits and incentives available for installing EV charging stations on your lots!