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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I think this is amplified when:
  • it’s your first EV
  • you have truly demanding usage patterns
  • and are in areas without convenient charging opportunities.

my rule of thumb when people ask me is I predict what they will want - start with 200 miles and add 100ish miles for each of the above, but what they’ll need is probably 100 miles less than that, factoring experience, time, and that charging opportunities are just growing like crazy. The convenience bar is way higher than the feasibility bar. Less than 10 years ago we were crowdfunding $100 a pop to set up a high powered L2 (70A) in cities like Port Angeles, WA. Now there’s a supercharger every 40 miles and tons of j1772s, ccs, etc.
I'm a Rivian wanabee owner who ticks all three of the bullets @echodelta lists. From my perspective, bullet numbers two and three that are what's driving me to seek the highest battery capacity available. In my case, I will be towing a camper trailer, which I think qualifies as a demanding use. That the camper will be towed to some relatively remote areas makes the third bullet relevant.

While the charging network is indeed growing quickly, and is set to explode if an infrastructure bill is ever actually approved, it still may not be robust enough to support EV towing in many parts of the country. The nominal 315 miles range of the LR may translate to an effective range of about 100 miles when towing (assuming a 50% range loss penalty) and if keeping to an 80/20 SOC routine. The Max bumps effective range closer to 125 miles, which is still pretty anxiety-inducing.

I'm betting that my smaller, lighter teardrop (under 2,000 lbs) will extract less of a range penalty, hopefully roughly the same as I experience in my current ICE vehicle, about 30%. Assuming the nominal range of the Max pack is 415 miles, that would mean an effective range of perhaps 175 miles. That should be enough to make it through the parts of North American where the charging network is likely to remain marginal, or to do some boondocking with less anxiety. The RAN may help the latter as well.
 

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I'm a Rivian wanabee owner who ticks all three of the bullets @echodelta lists. From my perspective, bullet numbers two and three that are what's driving me to seek the highest battery capacity available. In my case, I will be towing a camper trailer, which I think qualifies as a demanding use. That the camper will be towed to some relatively remote areas makes the third bullet relevant.

While the charging network is indeed growing quickly, and is set to explode if an infrastructure bill is ever actually approved, it still may not be robust enough to support EV towing in many parts of the country. The nominal 315 miles range of the LR may translate to an effective range of about 100 miles when towing (assuming a 50% range loss penalty) and if keeping to an 80/20 SOC routine. The Max bumps effective range closer to 125 miles, which is still pretty anxiety-inducing.

I'm betting that my smaller, lighter teardrop (under 2,000 lbs) will extract less of a range penalty, hopefully roughly the same as I experience in my current ICE vehicle, about 30%. Assuming the nominal range of the Max pack is 415 miles, that would mean an effective range of perhaps 175 miles. That should be enough to make it through the parts of North American where the charging network is likely to remain marginal, or to do some boondocking with less anxiety. The RAN may help the latter as well.
Totally hear you. It also depends if you tow out heavy every day- or if towing in the boonies is more rare. For example, having a 20-80 SOC is a self imposed constraint that is way strict and effectively removes 40% of the battery. You won’t do anything bad to the battery by doing 5-95% soc, or charging it at 98% just as you depart- even if you do that every weekend of the year!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s useless and I’ll try to get the Max too. I’m just saying that it is a consequential extrapolation to call it a “deal breaker”, without any empirical experience, for 99% of people’s situations - my motivation is I’d be sad to see folks like you missing out on an amazing experience for years because they talked themselves out of it.
 

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Totally hear you. It also depends if you tow out heavy every day- or if towing in the boonies is more rare. For example, having a 20-80 SOC is a self imposed constraint that is way strict and effectively removes 40% of the battery. You won’t do anything bad to the battery by doing 5-95% soc, or charging it at 98% just as you depart- even if you do that every weekend of the year!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s useless and I’ll try to get the Max too. I’m just saying that it is a consequential extrapolation to call it a “deal breaker”, without any empirical experience, for 99% of people’s situations - my motivation is I’d be sad to see folks like you missing out on an amazing experience for years because they talked themselves out of it.
Save your self a lot of headaches. Get the Max Pack.
 

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For Rivian to justify and maintain their desired sky-high valuation, they need to get the production lines ramped up as quickly as possible. I don't know what their current constraints are, but it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that battery supply is one of them. If that's the case, for every 3 Max Pack vehicles produced, they could produce 4 Large Pack vehicles instead, which would be better for showing the world that they can quickly scale to volume production and sales #'s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
For Rivian to justify and maintain their desired sky-high valuation, they need to get the production lines ramped up as quickly as possible. I don't know what their current constraints are, but it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that battery supply is one of them. If that's the case, for every 3 Max Pack vehicles produced, they could produce 4 Large Pack vehicles instead, which would be better for showing the world that they can quickly scale to volume production and sales #'s.
While I'm sure you're correct in speculating that battery supply is a likely production constraint, I suspect that company focus is a larger constraint with respect to the R1T & S. What I mean by this is that Rivian's first priority is almost certainly the Amazon truck deal, and its resources are likely to be allocated accordingly. This may mean that production of consumer vehicles will a secondary concern.

The details of the Rivian SEC filing for their upcoming IPO provide some evidence of the Amazon primacy. The filing reveals that Amazon has exclusive rights to Rivian trucks for four years and the right of first refusal for a further two. The contract calls for delivery of 10,000 trucks to Amazon by the end of 2022, with the full order of 100,000 due by 2029. This can be a solid, almost guaranteed revenue stream for Rivian, assuming they can deliver the vans.

The SEC filing also reveals that Amazon is not bound exclusively to Rivian and is free to pursue deals with other manufacturers should Rivian fall short in any way. To me, this strongly suggests that Rivian will be much more focused on making on Amazon happy by delivering vans. If Rivian ensures that the vans work as advertised (i. e., no substantial quality issues) and are delivered in the contracted numbers, a very substantial revenue stream is all but guaranteed. Rivian would thus seem to have much more incentive to make their largest customer and by extension, Wall Street, happy rather than worrying about retail vehicle sales.

I'm not trying to suggest that Rivian won't deliver the R1T this year, and the R1S next year. I believe that they will, but because of the above, in much lower numbers than most of us would like. I'd be happy to be proved wrong however.
 

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I think this is amplified when:
  • it’s your first EV
  • you have truly demanding usage patterns
  • and are in areas without convenient charging opportunities.

my rule of thumb when people ask me is I predict what they will want - start with 200 miles and add 100ish miles for each of the above, but what they’ll need is probably 100 miles less than that, factoring experience, time, and that charging opportunities are just growing like crazy. The convenience bar is way higher than the feasibility bar. Less than 10 years ago we were crowdfunding $100 a pop to set up a high powered L2 (70A) in cities like Port Angeles, WA. Now there’s a supercharger every 40 miles and tons of j1772s, ccs, etc.
I've been and EV owner for almost ten years and have done a bunch of EV road trips. Having more range is the most important feature of the car to me. The big issues for me are the loss of range in winter driving and towing. Even with a 400 mile EPA range, that drops to 200-300 depending on those issues. Now as more 200-350kW CCS gets installed, that becomes less of an issue. That will take many years until, say every highway exit has high speed charging that makes it equivalent to ICE vehicles. For local driving, home charging suffices and will be likely 90%+ of most people's driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I've been and EV owner for almost ten years and have one a bunch of EV road trips. Having more range is the most important feature of the car to me. The big issues for me are the loss of range in winter driving and towing. Even with a 400 mile EPA range, that drops to 200-300 depending on those issues. Now as more 200-350kW CCS gets installed, that becomes less of an issue. That will take many years until, say every highway exit has high speed charging that makes it equivalent to ICE vehicles. For local driving, home charging suffices and will be likely 90%+ of most people's driving.
I neglected to mention another important planned use for the Rivian, and that is accessing ski areas in the mountain west.

We've had many days in MT, WY & CO when the temperature never got much above zero F, and more than a few when it was -30 F or below (-37F was the low record which ironically is just about the point that the Farenheit & Centigrade scales read identically). At those temps, it's tough to coax an ICE vehicle to life. I suspect that a BEV would have real issues just keeping the battery cells functional. While it's likely to be the case that I will be able to plug the Rivian into 110 AC current overnight, driving in those temps will certainly eat range up, probably very quickly.

Another reason for me to go with the Max battery pack.
 

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I neglected to mention another important planned use for the Rivian, and that is accessing ski areas in the mountain west.

We've had many days in MT, WY & CO when the temperature never got much above zero F, and more than a few when it was -30 F or below (-37F was the low record which ironically is just about the point that the Farenheit & Centigrade scales read identically). At those temps, it's tough to coax an ICE vehicle to life. I suspect that a BEV would have real issues just keeping the battery cells functional. While it's likely to be the case that I will be able to plug the Rivian into 110 AC current overnight, driving in those temps will certainly eat range up, probably very quickly.

Another reason for me to go with the Max battery pack.
Yes, winter weather has a dual gut punch of lowering the battery capacity (temporarily) and high drain due to HVAC and keeping the batteries warm.
 

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The SEC filing also reveals that Amazon is not bound exclusively to Rivian and is free to pursue deals with other manufacturers should Rivian fall short in any way. To me, this strongly suggests that Rivian will be much more focused on making on Amazon happy by delivering vans.
I don't follow your reasoning here. You say Rivian will focus on Amazon over reservationists because Amazon is not bound exclusively to Rivian for vans. But RS1 and RT1 reservation holders can jump ship at least as easily and the retail market is more important to profits as the potential margins are higher, the market is larger and establishing a presence in the auto market at an early point will be very important to Rivian's brand image going forward.
 

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I've been and EV owner for almost ten years and have one a bunch of EV road trips. Having more range is the most important feature of the car to me. The big issues for me are the loss of range in winter driving and towing. Even with a 400 mile EPA range, that drops to 200-300 depending on those issues. Now as more 200-350kW CCS gets installed, that becomes less of an issue. That will take many years until, say every highway exit has high speed charging that makes it equivalent to ICE vehicles. For local driving, home charging suffices and will be likely 90%+ of most people's driving.
Most highway exits in the United States do not have a gas station. So why would you expect fast DC charging at every exit?
 

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Most highway exits in the United States do not have a gas station. So why would you expect fast DC charging at every exit?
Come on man. I thunk you get the idea. In a 5-10 years there will be many more charging stations. It’s the natural progression of things.

#FJB
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I don't follow your reasoning here. You say Rivian will focus on Amazon over reservationists because Amazon is not bound exclusively to Rivian for vans. But RS1 and RT1 reservation holders can jump ship at least as easily and the retail market is more important to profits as the potential margins are higher, the market is larger and establishing a presence in the auto market at an early point will be very important to Rivian's brand image going forward.
The Amazon contract represents the opportunity for a somewhat firm100k vehicles. Rivian is (excuse the pun), in the driver's seat with respect to Amazon. They are the first company that will supply Amazon with EVs, and have it within their power not only to have a very solid, 10 year revenue stream from that, but to also cement themselves as the delivery truck supplier of choice. All they need to do (he said somewhat sarcastically) is to to deliver a quality vehicle on time and on budget. No other EV maker is presently in this position.

As the economists say, we live in a world of scarce resources. While it may be possible for Rivian to do both things simultaneously (i. e., produce & delver both the delivery truck and the R1T/S), I think it's unlikely that a start-up can do that. When push comes to shove, as I believe it surely will, and likely sooner rather than later, I think that Rivian will concentrate their not unlimited resources on the Amazon contract. Rivian needs to deliver 10,000 Amazon trucks in 2022, which means that they need to move from low-rate initial production (the current state) to full production in a short time. With the revenue from 100,000 sales - at a minimum - on the line, for Rivian to focus on Amazon seems more than reasonable, in my view.

This doesn't mean that they will completely neglect the consumer vehicle side of the house. But what it does mean (possibly? probably?) is that the R1T and S ramp up will be be slowed. That may cause some of the 48,000 pre-order holders to jump ship, but there are really no direct competitors, at least not at the moment. I don't think that many R1T buyers are likely to migrate to the Tesla CT or even the F-150 Lightning; and I think it's even less likely for R1S buyers to jump to the GM Hummer. If I'm right about a slower ramp-up to production numbers (what I believe will be the case), Rivian won't really suffer much from lost sales or even in branding, assuming they deliver at least a few thousand pick-ups and SUVs.

My conclusion is that Rivian has more at stake with the Amazon contract and will likely prioritize it at the expense of production of the R1T & S, for the reasons outlined above. And remember that this opinion is worth every penny you paid for it . . .
 

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A couple of issues with having a very large customer... they can demand things you were not originally intending to do, and if for some reason they withdraw their order... you are not only left with excess inventory/materials you've already purchased, you just lost a huge part of your income to boot.
 

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That isn't typically they way large customer orders work... If AMZN "withdraws" then RIVN still gets paid (unless they negotiated a contract poorly).
 
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