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Discussion Starter #1
With all the concern and disappointment with the delay and availability of 400 mile battery packs. I would think that RIVIAN must REALIZE that the other 61 companies that are looking to release their new EVs over the next two years are taking note of the issues associated with the release of 400 plus range battery packs.
It would be a wise move for RIVIAN to develop and offer a 500 plus mile range battery pack at release of the R1S.
 

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Why? Just adds huge cost with little real need. They are likely at the physical limit of the skateboard with the 400 mile pack, so it would require some advances in battery energy density to get another 100 miles without significant changes to the platform itself. Within a few years the charging infrastructure is going to catch up with demand, so the need for 500 mile will be greatly diminished. I do, however, think we will continue to see incremental improvements in battery energy densities over time as just a natural bi-product of competitive innovation in the market.
 
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Tesla as well as several other EV Corp's are already working on the development of battery packs that will offer a greater range and faster charging. Im sure that this also known to RIVIAN. Rivian should not hold back on the delivery of this known department!
 

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They’ve yet to figure out how to get the 400 mile battery to work in the R1S, let alone a 500 mile. That’s why they won’t give a release date for it. I’m getting a 300 mile R1T. If y’all want to wait another 2-5 years for a 500 mile battery to get the first R1S’s off the line, fine by me.

As for the competition, they are all just TALKING right now. No one has a 500 mile battery shipping. One of the many things that Tesla innovated in the EV market is hyperbole and over-promising. Even Rivian has done this with several features that were supposed to be there and aren’t (electrochromatic roof, 180 degree tailgate, etc.), including the 400 mile battery at launch. I think you are a bit optimistic on the current state of the battery tech, not to mention that you can’t just change designs overnight when you are working towards a production schedule. The production availability will always lag the latest incarnation of any given component.
 
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GM previously announced the new Ultium batteries with up to 200KWH could provide up to 400 miles, and the Hummer was announced with 350 using that battery. The Hummer is a really heavy truck (class 2b and likely class 3) and the lower end pickups will likely be 400 miles. But in the last month GM just anounced that battery has been improved to 450 miles expectation. This is before their new battery factory is even completed.

I am sure Tesla can put a large enought battery in the CT to get it to 500 miles, wihtout even needing new technology. That will likely also be a class 3 truck.
 

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They’ve yet to figure out how to get the 400 mile battery to work in the R1S, let alone a 500 mile. That’s why they won’t give a release date for it. I’m getting a 300 mile R1T. If y’all want to wait another 2-5 years for a 500 mile battery to get the first R1S’s off the line, fine by me.

As for the competition, they are all just TALKING right now. No one has a 500 mile battery shipping. One of the many things that Tesla innovated in the EV market is hyperbole and over-promising. Even Rivian has done this with several features that were supposed to be there and aren’t (electrochromatic roof, 180 degree tailgate, etc.), including the 400 mile battery at launch. I think you are a bit optimistic on the current state of the battery tech, not to mention that you can’t just change designs overnight when you are working towards a production schedule. The production availability will always lag the latest incarnation of any given component.
I may disagree with you on issue. As they are able to produce the 500 plus range battery without problem. I believe that if their intentions are to hold off to see how much of the market they can secure with the 300 range battery packs, I believe that they may be mistaken. The competition is already working various battery developments that are more durable, lighter weight and greater range!
 

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I guess I’d rather see them put their energy into filled the huge L3 charging black holes across the country vs. max batteries. You don’t see ICE drivers whining about not getting 500 miles on a tank. Why, because there’s a gas station on every corner, and even plenty in remote places. I’d prefer to have power I can access vs. carrying it with me all the time. My Tesla is only rated at about 260 miles and it’s never been a problem. Why? Because Tesla invested huge money in their charging network.

I’ll reiterate that I’m all for battery energy density improvements, and believe those will naturally happen. It’s an Infinite Game, so we need to things as being time bound vs. capability bound. When do you want you truck? Then walk that back to when do you need to lock down design in order to have production rolling by that date. T minus x. And accept whatever state the tech is in at that point. Wishing that Rivian was delivering what others are promising (but not delivering yet) will just lead to a lot of disappointment.
 

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I would like to think that I'm adventurous, that I truly enjoy traveling and the great out doors.
So when I think of traveling from the midwest cross-country to take-in the great mountains and desert of the Western Rockies, I dread having had to stop for hours at a time to charge.
When driving a large SUV (5600lbs.), I stopped to fill-up 5 times with an overnight stay in Denver, CO. The thought of 4 to 5 stops with an hours stay for charging plus an overnight would ruin the joy of the entire trip!
 

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I would like to think that I'm adventurous, that I truly enjoy traveling and the great out doors.
So when I think of traveling from the midwest cross-country to take-in the great mountains and desert of the Western Rockies, I dread having had to stop for hours at a time to charge.
When driving a large SUV (5600lbs.), I stopped to fill-up 5 times with an overnight stay in Denver, CO. The thought of 4 to 5 stops with an hours stay for charging plus an overnight would ruin the joy of the entire trip!
I’ve done several 2,000 mile+ trips in my Tesla. What you’ll find it that stopping for 30-40 mins every few hours actually is a nice break and allows you to drive longer with less fatigue. At least that’s been my experience. Autopilot helps a lot in that regard as well. The thing you need realize is that a larger battery is not going to change the amount of time you need to spend charging on long trips. You’ll simply stop fewer times and charge longer each time. And if you’re not having to go out of your way to get to chargers (Superchargers are generally within 1/4 mile or so of interstate exits), it’s often faster to stop more often and only take on enough charge to get to the next closest charger since the charging rate is faster when the battery is empty and slows down dramatically as it gets more fully charged. There’s a similar paradox regarding how fast you drive. Driving faster in an EV will not always result in getting there sooner since pushing the car really hard will cause you to have spend more time charging. It’d be cool if someone came up with an app that would recommend optimal speed in order to get where your are going in the least amount of clock time, including charging. I can tell you that despite the awesome power that my model S has, driving 90 mph on I-80 in WY into a 30 mph headwind sucks a lot of juice.
 

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I’ve done several 2,000 mile+ trips in my Tesla. What you’ll find it that stopping for 30-40 mins every few hours actually is a nice break and allows you to drive longer with less fatigue. At least that’s been my experience. Autopilot helps a lot in that regard as well. The thing you need realize is that a larger battery is not going to change the amount of time you need to spend charging on long trips. You’ll simply stop fewer times and charge longer each time. And if you’re not having to go out of your way to get to chargers (Superchargers are generally within 1/4 mile or so of interstate exits), it’s often faster to stop more often and only take on enough charge to get to the next closest charger since the charging rate is faster when the battery is empty and slows down dramatically as it gets more fully charged. There’s a similar paradox regarding how fast you drive. Driving faster in an EV will not always result in getting there sooner since pushing the car really hard will cause you to have spend more time charging. It’d be cool if someone came up with an app that would recommend optimal speed in order to get where your are going in the least amount of clock time, including charging. I can tell you that despite the awesome power that my model S has, driving 90 mph on I-80 in WY into a 30 mph headwind sucks a lot of juice.
@Wildabeest - I’m curious how this rubric would change if you were regularly towing a small trailer? One of the reasons I’m likely to hold out for the 400 mi pack is because I plan to use the R1T for pulling a small camping trailer into the mountains. Occasionally I would take the trailer from my home in Denver to our family’s property in the mountains of Southern Utah. There are multiple 100mi+ stretches of road without any places to charge. I’m concerned that with the smaller battery pack plus the reduced range (up to 50%) from towing a trailer, I would end up stranded.
 

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@Wildabeest - I’m curious how this rubric would change if you were regularly towing a small trailer? One of the reasons I’m likely to hold out for the 400 mi pack is because I plan to use the R1T for pulling a small camping trailer into the mountains. Occasionally I would take the trailer from my home in Denver to our family’s property in the mountains of Southern Utah. There are multiple 100mi+ stretches of road without any places to charge. I’m concerned that with the smaller battery pack plus the reduced range (up to 50%) from towing a trailer, I would end up stranded.
I’m in the same boat. I tow a flatbed trailer with my side by side on it, and would prefer the 400 mile battery as well. My point above is that stopping every 2-3 hrs to charge for 30-40 mins isn’t as big of an issue as you might think. Let’s you enjoy the trip a bit more vs. just rushing to the destination. Yeah, we’d all love longer range batteries, but if I had to choose that or more L3 chargers, I’d opt for the latter. My Tesla has a rated range of 260 miles, and effective range about 220. That created some challenges on long cross country treks in the early days, but now that Tesla has their charging infrastructure built out, it’s not been an issue for several years.
 
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@Wildabeest - I’m curious how this rubric would change if you were regularly towing a small trailer? One of the reasons I’m likely to hold out for the 400 mi pack is because I plan to use the R1T for pulling a small camping trailer into the mountains. Occasionally I would take the trailer from my home in Denver to our family’s property in the mountains of Southern Utah. There are multiple 100mi+ stretches of road without any places to charge. I’m concerned that with the smaller battery pack plus the reduced range (up to 50%) from towing a trailer, I would end up stranded.
This is very similar to my situation and why I too feel the need to wait for the 180kWh-400 mile battery pack.

I asked Rivian customer service a question about range reduction while towing. The response was that their experience was a 50% reduction towing a bulky load at max weight capacity. The impact on range with a lighter, more aerodynamic load like a teardrop camper will be less, but how much less is hard to gauge as the relationship is probably not linear.

The 180kWh battery pack would seem to be more than a nice-to-have feature if you plan to tow longer distances in more remote areas.
 

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I’m in the same boat. I tow a flatbed trailer with my side by side on it, and would prefer the 400 mile battery as well. My point above is that stopping every 2-3 hrs to charge for 30-40 mins isn’t as big of an issue as you might think. Let’s you enjoy the trip a bit more vs. just rushing to the destination. Yeah, we’d all love longer range batteries, but if I had to choose that or more L3 chargers, I’d opt for the latter. My Tesla has a rated range of 260 miles, and effective range about 220. That created some challenges on long cross country treks in the early days, but now that Tesla has their charging infrastructure built out, it’s not been an issue for several years.
@Wildabeest - I guess that comes back to my question for you: Given your experience with the Tesla, and given the current charging infrastructure, what is the minimum range you would need to feel comfortable getting around the country - say the Western U.S. In particular? Since the medium range R1T would get you about 300 miles, then take off up to half of that to tow a trailer, the effective range is as low as 150mi. Then throw in bad roads and/or bad weather and it’s even worse (or is it??). 150 mi range doesn’t really sound like enough to comfortably move about the West where cities are often over 100 mi apart. Yes, I know there is some comfort in taking your time at the stops - I get that - but what I’m talking about is more practical. Can it even be done without stopping so frequently you’d never want to do it twice?
 

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@Wildabeest - I guess that comes back to my question for you: Given your experience with the Tesla, and given the current charging infrastructure, what is the minimum range you would need to feel comfortable getting around the country - say the Western U.S. In particular? Since the medium range R1T would get you about 300 miles, then take off up to half of that to tow a trailer, the effective range is as low as 150mi. Then throw in bad roads and/or bad weather and it’s even worse (or is it??). 150 mi range doesn’t really sound like enough to comfortably move about the West where cities are often over 100 mi apart. Yes, I know there is some comfort in taking your time at the stops - I get that - but what I’m talking about is more practical. Can it even be done without stopping so frequently you’d never want to do it twice?
To be honest, it would be the 400 mile. But that’s based on the charging infrastructure as of today, and that could change quite a bit over the next year or so. That opinion is mostly driven by the fact that I spend substantial time in WY and almost the entire state is a black hole right now for L3 CCS. If an L3 CCS charger is built in Evanston (where Tesla has had one for many years), then I’d be OK. It would still preclude a drive back east on I-80 unless they put more throughout WY, but there are other routes I could take for that (I-70) that do have coverage.

I originally put my configuration in for the 400 mile non-LE, but later switched it to LE since it became apparent that you could always go LE -> non-LE, but not the other way. I’ll re-evaluate the charger situation when the time comes to actually place the order and make final decision then. I prefer the LE and getting free 20” AT wheel upgrade since that’s a mandatory “option” for me. I don’t plan to maintain a second vehicle any longer, so being able to commute from UT to my cabin in WY with a charging stop in between is going to be critical. It’s 250 miles round trip, and charging at my cabin isn’t really an option since it’s off grid with just a small solar array.
 

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To be honest, it would be the 400 mile. But that’s based on the charging infrastructure as of today, and that could change quite a bit over the next year or so. That opinion is mostly driven by the fact that I spend substantial time in WY and almost the entire state is a black hole right now for L3 CCS. If an L3 CCS charger is built in Evanston (where Tesla has had one for many years), then I’d be OK. It would still preclude a drive back east on I-80 unless they put more throughout WY, but there are other routes I could take for that (I-70) that do have coverage.

I originally put my configuration in for the 400 mile non-LE, but later switched it to LE since it became apparent that you could always go LE -> non-LE, but not the other way. I’ll re-evaluate the charger situation when the time comes to actually place the order and make final decision then. I prefer the LE and getting free 20” AT wheel upgrade since that’s a mandatory “option” for me. I don’t plan to maintain a second vehicle any longer, so being able to commute from UT to my cabin in WY with a charging stop in between is going to be critical. It’s 250 miles round trip, and charging at my cabin isn’t really an option since it’s off grid with just a small solar array.
Thanks @Wildabeest - very handy info. I actually have a reservation for each the LE and the 400 mi version. I'm pretty far back in line (about 40k as far as I can guess) so I figure I'll have some time to figure out which version I'll actually go with. For me, getting the 400 would be an easy choice if it weren't more than 6 months behind. The waiting is killing me!
 

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I chatted with Electrify America this morning, and they said they have no plans for chargers along the I-80 corridor in WY (or the Dakotas which would also be required buildout for full coverage on I-80). He recommended that I submit a formal request, which I’ve done. If it’s not currently in their plan, then I’m guessing it’s at least 3 years before they would have anything built there since they are likely already committed on construction for at least the next 2 years.

Without turning this thread political, the good news for EV owners is that the Biden administration has been very vocal about providing funding to build out EV charging across the country. If Electrify America won’t do it, then maybe the government will. 🤞
 

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Without turning this thread political, the good news for EV owners is that the Biden administration has been very vocal about providing funding to build out EV charging across the country. If Electrify America won’t do it, then maybe the government will. 🤞
Can't wait for the special EV charger "gas tax" to pay for it.
 
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