OpenSourceEV Parts One Year Anniversary
Hello my dudes! July 26th is the one year anniversary for OpenSource EV Parts. At launch, I wasn’t sure how long it was going to last. Looking at it now though, I think and entire year is something to celebrate.
Let's recap quickly:
The idea really started with a post on RivianForums.com about a glasses holder. I wasn’t thrilled with the options on where to put my sunglasses, and I wanted to learn CAD, so I made my own and uploaded the STL file for anyone to print. The feedback on it was surprisingly good! After that was the first ever wireless charging pad replacement and flash forward to now, OpenSource EV has grown to over 20 products.
Over the last year, the team and I have been privileged to process nearly 3500 orders from over 2500 Rivian owners. Between the forums, Reddit, and in the contact form on the site, I’ve interacted with hundreds of Rivian owners, and I’ve really enjoyed it.
The best-selling product at OpenSourceEV has been described as, “the best Rivian phone mount on the market” – it’s the Phone mount PRO. Over a thousand have been purchased, and we’re likely a few hundred higher if you count all those who are printed at a little to no cost at home on personal 3D printers.
We sold through 3 batches of the original wireless charging pad replacement, two large batches and counting of the Ultimate Wireless Charging Pad kit, and I’m super excited about the new, updated kit that will also work with phones without MagSafe. (more on this later)
I also want to mention that we’re in the hundreds sold and printed of seat back tablet mounts, left cell phone mounts, and aux cup holders – all of which have new or updated designs.
Level Up is an updated approach to making products higher quality, more durable, more responsibly, and iterating faster. Over the last year, I have been working with a group of contract manufacturers for parts. I would design a part and create the specification, and they would produce small batches for me. Most of the time this works well. Occasionally though, it goes off the rails.
One batch of center console organizers was brown, not black. One batch of phone mounts so was brittle I could have broken one if I stared at it hard enough. Most egregiously though, one of my former contract manufacturers decided that it would be perfectly fine to produce some of our products in PLA, which you may know deforms easily in hot temperatures.
Obviously, none of these situations is acceptable. All have either been caught before they made it out or replaced under warranty with no questions asked. These experiences got me thinking through – could I do it better in house? The answer so far is absolutely!
Today, I’m officially announcing that OpenSource EV is leveling up the quality, durability, and sustainability of the products we produce. We’re Leveling Up.
First is quality. Going forward, OpenSource EV will produce all parts internally. We’ve invested in multiple Bambu Labs X1 Carbon 3D printers. They are state-of-the-art, wonderful, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to keep up with demand, product parts at a higher quality level, and roll out updates quicker as we’ll no longer need to wait for a new batch to arrive.
Second is durability. OpenSource EV, like many of the smaller Rivian parts sellers, has sold 3D printed parts in PETG. It did the job, but there are better materials out there. I’ve been printing more evaluation and vendor qualification test prints than I care to admit to, I am announcing today that OpenSource EV is transitioning to premium quality Flash Forge ASA material for nearly all our products.
ASA is a close relative of ABS. It’s just flexible enough, tremendously durable, UV resistant, and handles temperatures up to 300 degrees F. It is the best material that I’ve found for our use case and that’s why we’re using it.
Finally, the last part of us leveling up is sustainability. All the products we produce are made in the USA, just like your Rivian. Power to produce our items is now 100% renewable solar and wind. Shipping supplies are also made in the USA, out of recycled materials in nearly every instance. Finally, we’re taking it one step further by partnering with Shopify Planet to offset the carbon footprint of our shipments via solutions like reforestation and soil carbon storage.
Each of these is the right thing to do, and together they are us going to the next level.
Beyond what I’ve just announced for Level Up, there is more than we can do. I’ve been asked a few times about it, and today I’m also officially announcing that OpenSource EV will be selling replacement parts of all the products that we manufacture.
Today I’m announcing that over the next month, every single part from every single product we produce will be added to the catalog of orderable items. They will be available individually, priced reasonably, and ship starting at under $5 depending on your proximity to us in Pittsburgh, PA.
First, the Seat Back Tablet Mount. It’s been a tremendously popular product that we’ve received wonderful feedback on. Today I’m announcing that the design dimensions have been updated for a better, more secure fit. Additionally, it’s now produced in our more durable ASA material and this allows us to eliminate the teeny-tiny Delrin pins from the design. This product will now use our standardized ball mounts and is shipping now.
Next is our Aux Cupholder. Mounting brackets have been tweaked and are now made from ASA for a more secure fit. The bigger news here is that due to the higher quantity levels that we’re selling at, I’m able to buy more at reduce pricing. As a result, I’m announcing a price reduction today - that these are now $18 instead of $20, and the quantity discounts are still in effect.
Let’s talk completely new or redesigned products, starting with the most popular product that we sell – the Phone Mount PRO.
As mentioned earlier, it’s the most popular product on OpenSourceEV and you really don’t fix something that isn’t broken. That said, there is something that we’ve heard over and over – move the ball over to the right. Move it up. My phone is still obscured by the steering wheel.
Today, I think we’ve fixed that. Announcing the Phone Mount EVO – the biggest update we’ve made to the best phone mount for your Rivian R1T and R1S. The mounting location have been moved nearly two inches to the right, and almost an inch up. It threads the needle on clearing the steering wheel and covering the least amount possible on the infotainment screen.
It is still friction fit and thus super easy to install. Now though it also has a significantly larger contact area which makes it MUCH more secure with significantly reduced vibrations.
We’ve also made the mount modular. You can swap between 17MM, 20MM, and 1 Inch Balls without deinstalling the mount, and with only a Philips head screwdriver. Extra or individual balls are available at $2.50 each. That means that you don’t have to buy a whole new $15 mount if you want to swap sizes.
Additionally, we’ve standardized the balls across the entire range of OpenSource EV items. The new EVO mount, the rear seat tablet mount, and the left phone mount.
Our new Left Phone Mount V2 is now modular, and so much more. It’s also constructed out of ASA and has a tweaked install process. It has undergone significant structural updates to lie flatter, secure in place better, and hold larger phones without shifting. It’s easy to spot the updates over the original design.
All these new and updated products are available to ship right now.
Finally today, I want to talk about shipping. Earlier this month, the US Postal Service introduced a service called Ground Advantage. It’s a direct competitor with UPS ground, with shipping rates starting at only $3.75. It’s low cost shipping on smaller items, which is most of one OpenSource EV sells. If you were put off by shipping charges in the past, it’s likely worth it to take another look.
Also, and perhaps more importantly, I’m announcing today that domestic orders over $50 will ship for free – carbon offset and all. Orders over $50 to Canada will ship flat rate for $9.99.
What a wild, wonderful past year it’s been. It’s been an honor and privilege to be a part of your Rivian adventure. On behalf of all myself and all MY dudes who help make OpenSource EV Parts go, thank you very, very much. Be well.
Rob @ OpenSource EV Parts