1.) The bed needs to be very strong because people routinely put weight on dunnage in the bed, and the door doesn't appear to be corrugated to withstand load.
2.) If you want to change your flat tire you need to unload everything in the bed, which will be a huge pain in the ass on the side of the road.
Otherwise thank god someone is actually trying to capture this market. I really want one of these and can't wait until they're closer to market.
aren't you already supposed to unload your vehicle before you jack it up on one side? maybe it's different for "work vehicles", but my car comes with a puny little jack that's only strong enough to support the weight of the car when there are no people or heavy items inside. I suspect the hardpoint on the car itself isn't designed with much more headroom than the jack.
Anyway, enough resume flouting. Yes, you should unload your truck before changing the tire. What if that 1000 lbs. is pea gravel? Still unloading it first, Dr. Safety First? If I had 1000 lbs. in the bed and I had a flat? I’d change it as is. It won’t be the smartest thing I do that week, and I am going to keep my hands out from breaking the vertical plane of the wheel well as much as possible. But I am confident that the solid point of the frame will hold it, and even the puny jack is likely stringer than it looks.
But in reality, if I had a load, I’d just call AAA or a mobile truck service. They carry really nice heavy-duty jacks. Flat tires are such a rarity these days, I’d roll the dice on paying someone $200 to change my tire.
In the end, if you’re that worried about it, do what we did when I was kid with our old ‘63 Chevy: throw the spare on top of the load when you’re done loading. Doesn’t fix the jacking problem, but at least the spare is accessible.
And remember, the jack is only lifting one corner (or side in some configurations), so it sin't the whole load.
Even if it's iffy, I can easily envision a situation where the load is not massive but is still bulky or inconvenient to remove, or impossible to do so without equipment.
So, yes, this feature would give me pause (maybe not a deal-breaker, but...) in contrast to an otherwise fantastic design. If you haven't yet, definitely check it out!
You have to take the totality of circumstances into account. The jack (depending on the style, some are better than others) can probably take the weight in most circumstances. The vehicle can probably also tolerate the extra weight so long as it's not grossly overloaded or rusted. Whether you have any problems is going to depend more on the details of the location more than anything else.
You could go on Reddit and score a bunch of virtue points for saying nobody should ever jack up a vehicle in less than perfect circumstances but I think in the overwhelming majority of real world situations you do not need to unload the vehicle.
Who says that’s even going to be possible? It sounds like a complete design flop to me.
But yeah, major design problem.
Why not just bolt it underneath and put a cover over it? The cover would weigh less than a couple of kilos and probably improve the vehicle's overall aerodynamics anyway.
So I put it down to a packaging issue. They had two choices and under the bed solution provided the extra benefit of being able to use that space for other purposes. Many newer vehicles do not carry spare tires and this trend has been accelerating as tire technology has improved greatly and road side assistance is common that people rarely if ever have to change a tire.
Not sure if I would be so quick to do it in a modern car with alloy wheels and an even mass distribution but the car in question was a tough old Volvo Amazon with steel wheels and the flat was on a back wheel; in the Amazon most of the weight of the car is over the front wheels so the flat really didn't stress the wheel much.
That was about thirty five years ago.
Well, if it is bolted under, it needs its own cover/plate, which increases the weight of the surrounding structure (since whatever's there can't be structural).
Put the spare tire on the hood, extend the wheelbase, and call it a Defender.
My issues with it boil down more to the exclusively-touchscreen interface (it's the exact opposite of what I want to use while driving) and the high pricetag compared to, say, a Tacoma.
It's going to be limited audience at first, unless batteries come down in price significantly. So I can understand all the design decisions to appeal to a high end market but ... idk.
I definitely agree with you about the touch interfaces. The Model 3 needs more buttons.
Judging by the specs on these things, I'd honestly be surprised if they could produce these for less than $125k.
That might very well be ambitious, though, and even if they do meet those targets, that's still considerably more expensive than a Tacoma.
Also - There was a video with Sandy Munro on it and he couldn't talk about Rivian so he's either working with them or someone who wants to invest in them. So it seems like they are getting the right brains working on their problems.
Edit - this video, which is very interesting - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVnRQRdePp4
Now that I think about it, it seems like most car companies are trying to do the electric thing on their own, and if they do ask for help it’s from somebody that’s sort of out of their industry and not a direct competitor (yet).
This is in contrast with for example how Mazda is working with Toyota on hybrid drive, and how GM used to work with Toyota on hybrid drive.
Or is it Tesla that is ‘anti-cooperation’ with industry leaders? I was under the impression that it was teslas goal to make electric cars more common, not necessarily Tesla cars were common. I’ve never properly researched this, but I’ve always wondered why a business model for them isn’t to just provide the skateboard platform for other companies to build upon...
I want EV makers to succeed, but these vehicles haven't even launched yet (won't until 2020), so how can you say that? We'll know what kind of truck they really are once the general public gets their hands on them.
Can we? The vehicles we've seen are concepts. We know nothing of the build quality, reliability, safety, or a multitude of other characteristics of a mass-production version of these vehicles. A hand-built concept vehicle built in extremely low volumes for press outings (what they have now) would be expected to be impressive, but the real test is whether all of those wonderful specs make it to mass production in a safe, reliable, high-build-quality package (...that doesn't bankrupt the company in the process).
The automotive industry is littered with the corpses of companies who touted killer concepts w/ insane specs but couldn't make it happen, or did, and the production vehicle was but a shadow of the concept. Tesla is amazing in that it didn't become one of these companies. That Rivian can mass produce these vehicles to the touted specs for the given prices should not be assumed, and to look at a few concept vehicles and company-provided specs and say "Rivian makes superb trucks" brings to mind George W Bush's premature "Mission Accomplished" banner from way back when. I hope for their success, but they're pretty far from the finish line right now, and getting there will be a real challenge; just ask Elon Musk.
Absolutely! The norm in a lot of industries is to judge on projected figures (electronics, CPU, GPU, automotive, aerospace, mining, etc).
> We know nothing of the build quality, reliability, safety, or a multitude of other characteristics of a mass-production version of these vehicles.
"Superb" is subjective - I could say a 1965 Porsche 911 is a superb car, even though it compares terribly with a 2018 Toyota Corolla on build quality, reliability, safety or a number of other features.
Re: your Porsche comment, I'm not sure what you're getting at. You could indeed say a 1965 Porsche 911 is a superb car, because 1. it actually exists in production form and 2. the public (and automotive journalists) have had the chance to drive and judge it for themselves. Not so for Rivian, which again, has yet to produce anything but concept cars. If you're comparing a 1965 911 against a 2018 Corolla, you're just being silly. Vehicles are compared to other vehicles in the time in which they were introduced. No reasonable person is judging a 1965 vehicle by 2018 standards.
Anyways, I'm looking forward to seeing what the production version of these trucks look like. It sounds like they've got some heavy hitter investors on board so hopefully that translates into a solid final product that delivers on the claims they've made.
Volkswagen beat them to it. Volkswagen has developed their MEB electric car platform which they will use across their VW, Audi, SEAT, and Skoda brands:
VW is also open to licensing the platform to other manufacturers. Ford is thinking about using the MEB platform for their EVs:
One of the best things about the Tesla cars is not the drive train but the UI; by which I mean the pedals, Autosteer, traffic aware cruise control, as well as the dash. The UI is much less cluttered than most other cars; compare the S and the I-Pace for instance, the I-Pace has loads of buttons and knobs and two screens in addition to the instrument cluster.
After a year of driving the Model S I have concluded that my reasons for buying the car were the wrong ones (electric drive train mostly), the reason for keeping it is that the S is simply better to drive because of one pedal driving, TACC, and Autosteer. Most of those features could be added to any car with automatic transmission. Certainly Mercedes could do it and in their top of the range cars already do some of it.
Honda now has a more advanced 2-motor series hybrid system, similar to the Volt, but both systems are a lot more complex (expensive) than the brilliantly simple way HSD combines power from the motor and engine.
Additionally, the hybrid bet paid off handsomely for Toyota.
I'd say any scoffing was misguided.
You can read about the common problems on the forums; lots of the same problems Teslas had in the time period (i.e. loss of all propulsion while driving, loud motor noises followed by eventual motor failure, etc) in addition to software problems bridging the two companies' systems.
All solvable but I'm sure Tesla prefers selling $100k cars better than selling $15k generic skateboards.
1. If GM were to - like you say - "work with Tesla", who would be in charge of what to do, when and how? GM would want GM cronies to do that. It would be like Apple after they fired Steve Jobs
2. Even if TSLA would be in the driver's seat (pun intended) who would be working for whom? TSLA is already as big as GM in terms of market cap, and with better future, but in a TSLA-GM JV GM would want to be "da boss".
Things are fine the way they are GM, F, FCAU will either die, consolidate or become irrelevant; and the new TSLA-like companies will be the new "energy and transportation" players.
Clayton M. Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma is still valid.
If you're interested in electric cars then it's well worth a subscribe.
The Rivian product is extremely ambitious. The challenge for such a company is not going to be sales or marketing (like Teslas, these things should sell themselves) but the capital investments needed to go from the early product prototype stage to having the production capability to scale the business and serve their market. This investment makes a lot of sense for GM as they are essentially pretty far done with dismantling their combustion engine business and are now trying to ramp up their fully electric vehicle business as fast as they can before it is too late.
For those not familiar, the Rivian truck has tons of very practical features. Here's what I remember:
- Waterproof battery. This car can basically drive through a river without issues. The battery and engines can operate while fully submerged. The main challenge is stopping the car from floating or stopping the interior from flooding. When I was watching the review, I couldn't help wondering .... why not put a rudder and propeller on it already?!
-Individually operating engines on each wheel and they can even spin in opposite direction.
- Enormous torque. This car can pull enormously heavy loads. This is a big bonus since that is a common usecase for trucks like this.
- Huge amount of battery and a projected range of more than 400 miles.
- Tons of practical space, including front trunk, a storage space accessible with doors on both sides behind the cabin that you pull down that you can stand on to access e.g. the roof or sit on.
- A flashlight using one of the battery cylinders that they use internally as well that pops out of the door. Naturally, if you pop it back in it charges. This is a bit of a gimmick, but a clever one and it sounds super practical to always have a fully charged flashlight handy.
There was lots more but these were things that stood out to me. It seems like this should tick a lot of boxes for people interested in buying any kind of truck. Of course it remains to be seen if it lives up to expectations in terms of build quality, production volume, etc. But it looks like they are getting ready to ship in just a few years.
I don't actually own a car and doubt I ever will (I rent when I need one, which is a few times per year) but this one seems cool to me.
You're not alone in this, but why do you think passenger rail makes any sense in the U.S? As far as I can tell, it makes very little. People's big plans for rail in the U.S. tend to rely on some major change in one or more factors of feasibility, and people justify these plans by calling that or those factors "trivial, with political will!"; I find it unconvincing.
West Coast: (Seattle?), SF, LA, SD
Midwest: Twin Cities, Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit
Northeast: NY, Philly, DC
Southeast: Atlanta, Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami
Yes, flying is faster and maybe even cheaper. But, the experience of flying is awful and getting worse. If it's between 3 hours in airports, security and an airplane or 4 hours on high speed rail where I can put my feet up, catch a nap in an actual bed, use my cellphone and wifi, collaborate with colleagues, eat good food, etc... I'd take the train every time. Hell, on the Toronto/Ottawa route, flying is cheaper and there's no high speed rail, but many business travelers still choose slow rail because the experience is so much better. Make it a little more competitive in travel time, and it starts to become very attractive.
Business travelers aren't as price sensitive, and if they can make good use of the time working or resting then it can easily be justified.
> catch a nap in an actual bed, use my cellphone and wifi, collaborate with colleagues, eat good food
* Can you recommend a fast train service with affordable sleeper cars; I'm not aware of one?
* Mobile phones frequently drop signal moving between cells on fast trains, as anyone trying to stay connected to a meeting will have experienced
* My experience of train wifi (at least, in France, UK, Germany, Switzerland) is that it's also patchy and unreliable (does it rely on the same patchy mobile networks?)
* Almost without exception, the food I've experienced on trains is very similar to that available on budget airlines - plastic-packed ready-made soups, noodles, sandwiches, etc.
Socially and environmentally, though, it's far more pleasant on a train. :)
Bed just needs to be longer. At $61k and about $25k (roughly) in fuel savings over an F250 diesel over 250k miles, this could potentially be a huge win.
The fact that they take advantage of the individual motors to steer the vehicle without turning the wheels is pretty cool. It can rotate in-place similar to a tank.
Is that really a meaningful comparison considering the tremendous difference in scale? They probably won't have their shit together when they have to deliver thousands of vehicles per week.
It strikes me that Rivian is combining the advantages of electric vehicles with the advantages of auto industry know-how, instead of independent hubris.
It would add more overhead to the transaction and if history is any indicator, sleazy interactions and business practices thrown in as well.
I'm fairly confident once the dust settles Tesla owners will be happy to not have auto dealers in their lives. There's just a teething period while Tesla ramps up to a mature manufacturer at scale.
I also suspect it's a lot easier for Tesla to fix their parts problem than it is for dealers to stop being smarmy.
I'm still holding out for the Bollinger B1 (and hoping it won't be terribly bank-breaking).
Not everyone who drives a pickup needs a pickup. That's pretty apparent by the fact that the F-150 is the highest selling vehicle in the US while less than 20% of Americans live in rural areas. Plenty of people buy pickup trucks and also live in the city. Even living in the countryside, most people in rural areas don't need (or even own) pickup trucks.
And pickup trucks aren't just useful for farm work. I'd wager that most of the pickup trucks sold in the US are for commercial use. Plumbers, construction workers, contractors, lawn care/snowplows. These people tend to live and work in cities, and they buy pickup trucks. And what's important for a truck? Torque. What do electric motors have? Lots of torque. For businesses buying pickup trucks for work, they don't need range or lots of chargers. They just need to get to the job site, park, then go back to the office at the end of the day to charge it.
That's also ignoring the millions of people who buy pickup trucks as daily commuter vehicles, who have the normal daily commute of 20 miles. Well within the range of even the worst electric car in the US. Pickup trucks are a status symbol for these people, not a work vehicle. An electric pickup is an even greater status symbol.
You say an electric pickup truck is a great status symbol, but I doubt it is to the majority of people in those professions you just mentioned. The people who view pickup trucks as a status symbol want massive and loud ones. Electric cars are very light, and very quiet.
Sometimes, but not always. The F-150 Platinum is neither massive nor loud but it costs $60,000. The base price of an F-150 is around $28,000, so the Platinum is status symbol of wealth and comfort.
If the F-150 can be used both by construction workers looking for something basic and cheap as well as rich people looking for a luxury car, I don't see that changing just because you swapped the V6 for an electric motor.
Also there's better torque for towing and lower maintenance.