Does anyone anywhere have video footage of a Rivian actually being driven? Like, not in a commercial, someone genuinely driving it. I just want to know if they are anywhere close to having a production vehicle. If they have a single production vehicle that does what they say, then OK they "just" have to figure out scaling up the manufacturing.
If they don't have a single vehicle, they are years and years away, to the point that Tesla truck may beat them to mass market.
They have great marketing though.
All that said I do hope Rivian is successful. I would absolutely buy an electric pickup truck.
Charlatan-In-Chief also assumed he knows more about A.I and Robotics than many who warned him about his 'Alien Dreadnought' vision.
Rest assured people who are focused on building mass cars won't have the same hubris
If there's one thing I love about people calling Musk a 'charlatan' who build his company on 'government subsidies' and 'fairytales' it is that you can just reply with a video of a double 80m orbital booster landing vertically after putting a massive payload into orbit.
At Tesla, he is perfectly playing the role of a Used Car Salesman. Rising price up, prices down, making false promises
~ George Bernard Shaw
StreetScooter, a DHL subsidiary, managed to ramp up the production of electric delivery trucks much quicker. They also sell to third-parties (mostly in Germany I suppose).
Anyway I'm not even sure why exactly we're talking about Tesla. I thought they were going to produce a semi, not a delivery truck?
1) Ford F-series
2) Dodge Ram
3) Chevrolet Silverado
Indeed. The Amazon order is for delivery trucks (the same kind of car as produced by StreetScooter), not pickup trucks nor semis or whatever else people in this thread have been talking about.
I wouldn't assume it's not a submarine commercial though...
I've seen the shell of one in person, but it just seems to me if you actually could make an electric truck go 0-60 in 3 seconds and last 400 miles you would just make a video of it doing that instead of making a marketing video of putting a grill in its "gear tunnel".
This post is worse. It's easy to get any voltage you want out of a big battery pack. And it's pretty easy to convert between voltages. The hard part is sustaining whatever max voltage your motor can accept, which is a matter of power. If your motor is big enough, and your electronics are at least competent, the limiting factor is the power your battery can supply.
Edit: Like, a Model S battery supplies about 330 volts and rearranging the battery cells in a simple way would make it supply 4000 volts at lower current. You could replace the coils in the motors to accept that newer voltage and get very similar performance but with significantly higher chance of electric shock.
The reality is more complicated when you can vary the motor design, Kv, etc.
(Disclaimer: not an expert)
The basic design paradigm (skateboard) of EVs is basically established, new EV companies are systems integration and supply chain (esp. battery) setup... well, probably motor design now too, but it's not like people don't know how to make electric motors.
(Edit: change amount from thousands to millions)
Now if they buy 100 000 vehicles at a rate of $100 000 each (pretty reasonable for industrial vehicles), that is 10 000 000 000 (10 Billion dollars). If it's $50k each, that will be $5B. $5-10 Billion in sales ain't too shabby.
Assuming that valuation is vaguely accurate they must own a pretty decent chunk of the company too.
Disclaimer: I work for GM, I have no knowledge of this deal, any opinions are my own.
Ahem, electric delivery trucks built by a DHL subsidiary (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/StreetScooter) are selling for much less.
Let's step back for a moment. DHL is replacing Volkswagen Caddy delivery trucks. The 100,000$ estimate is entirely off for this kind of delivery truck that I think is comparable to what Amazon needs.
If you're interested in that route, there are a ton of used Chevy Volts on the market now for $15-20k. And PHEVs are great for people in areas without good public charging infra, or who can't afford the current crop of high-range EVs (the latter being my case).
If instead you live on i.e. the West Coast, and can afford a high range pure-EV, you can go almost everywhere on electricity alone.
And there's significant East Coast charging infrastructure. I bought a used Leaf (first gen, I needed 5 seats for my wife's car since the first gen Volt only has 4) for $10k a year or two ago and have used Chademo charging several times without problem. The low range of the Leafs is a little annoying, but the Chademo charging capability compensates fairly well. With a >200 mile range EV, I wouldn't even need the fast charging.
If you can charge at home, you realize how annoying it was to go to the gas station all the time. When I travel and rent or borrow a gas car, I always find it annoying that I have to go to the gas station regularly. It's just not convenient compared to just habitually plugging it in when I get home. It also smells.
Can the gas in the tank go bad? I know modern fuel has a lot of preservatives.
Has anyone experienced any issues with summer vs winter blends? You're potentially carrying out of season gas in your tank.
The gas tank is pretty small (9 gallons), so it's not a big issue and only a tiny amount of fuel is used for these things. I normally keep about a quarter to half a tank in there, which is enough to be more than comfortable but not enough that I'm burning a lot of gas to keep it from going bad. It automatically keeps the average age of gas in the tank from going over 6 months.
This is something that is occasionally mentioned in speculative apocalyptic scenarios. It will go bad, after about a year you wouldn't be able to use any random car without swapping out its gas with some from a better preserved source.
EDIT: Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xktrYDny_lc
It's a Chevy...so expect some pretty bad engineering defects with everything but the engine/drivetrain.
In 2013, the Volt and Cadillac CTS shared the highest score (3.00) of any General Motors vehicle in Consumer Reports Reliability Index (excluding the Pontiac Vibe which is really a Toyota rebadge).
For comparison: 37 (of 41) Toyota vehicles scored the same or better than the Volt.
I am on electricity 99.9% of the time for any commuting or local drives, but it enables me to do trips of practically any length which is great for me. It's a good stepping stone and my next car will be a pure BEV, but the convenience (and backup gas generator because I don't have in-home charging, I live in an apartment complex) is a lifesaver sometimes.
It can barely keep up at true highway speeds. It can keep up at ~60-70 mph on flat ground, but just barely. Given highway speed limits are 60 mph minimum in most places (meaning traffic goes at 70 mph), this means I usually am losing charge on long journeys. If I lived in a place like TX where the speed limit was higher, then the REx wouldn't be able to keep up at all and there'd be a net loss in charge.
However, I have hold state-of-charge (HSoC) on-demand coded to my car (in the EU, you can enable the REx any time you want. CA regulations prohibited this in the US, but it can be enabled via an ODB-II adapter). If I am going on along journey, I enable the REx with a button at 80%.
I've done 600-700 mi trips without charging the car by filling the gas, as long as I'm conscious to begin looking for a gas station when the gas tank is ~10% (which is about 10 miles, and I've found that within 10 miles is about the max you'd find gas stations apart on a major highway).
By the time I get home, I'm down to 40-50% charge on the car (from 80%, since I can't turn on HSoC/REx at 100%, so the first 20% doesn't count for determining whether the REx can keep up) if I'm paranoid. This also is through the Cascade mountains in WA, so the real world usage holds up even over mountain passes. Going up the pass is a real pain since there's a high net loss of electrical charge, but going back down is basically "free" thanks to regen.
So the best PHEVs tend to be those that look more like BEVs with an accessory motor/generator, which is the Volt (sadly now discontinued) and the i3 Range Extender (Range extender models discontinued in EU).
I think at some point things might flip around, with non-plugin hybrids being the economy option, pure BEVs being the mid-priced option, and BEV with a range extender being a premium option for those who want all the advantages of both.
Also those 100k will be on the road only by 2030, and 10k by 2022 according to the other tech-crunch article 
Tesla built the Roadster which is a toy. Then the Luxo Model X and S Sedans followed by the affordable Model 3. Nissan built the affordable but limited range Leaf and just kept increasing the range every other year or so.
They basically started each with one type of suck (Tesla=Price, Nissan=Range) and worked to reduce over time.
As it is, Nissan has cemented the Leaf = bad range association in people's minds.
So, I am not sure if they are actually moving the right direction vs introducing new car with better specks and keeping the leaf as cheap as possible.
PS: I am guessing a reverse halo effect is going on.
But interesting to see what happens with the Leaf Plus over the next couple of years. (200 mile range more power).
Plus these will have tons of commercial customers who get to depreciate it on schedule, and the longer term lower maintenance and fuel costs come into play more.
... assuming the design goes well.
let's take 100,000 vehicles with (I'm conservatively guessing) a 100 kWh battery each, that's a 100,000,000 kWh load each night!
100,000 Mega watt-hours is roughly the output of about 10 nuclear power plants in a 24H period.
Unless a lot of new capacity comes online, it could easily overwhelm the existing electrical grid's capacity.
Let's hope this is a gradual transition.
Edit That would be between 400 to 500 km a day. I would be surprised delivery vans need that much
Except for Saudi sweet. There is plenty of very high quality oil in Saudi Arabia, which is no doubt in the heart of the "middle east". (Iraq and the UAE also produce sweet crude.) The really nasty stuff, the really energy-intensive gunk, is the tarsand bitumen from Canada. Saudi oil is positively green in comparison.
>> The term sweet originates from the fact that a low level of sulfur provides the oil with a mildly sweet taste and pleasant smell.
Saudi crude is generally a mix of heavy to medium sour oil, which is generally high in sulfur and yields a decent amount of residual fuel and vacuum gasoil.
The major producers of sour crude oil include ... Saudi Arabia
I wasn't meaning they have no sweet light crude oil, only that it is the overwhelming minority of what they have.
Technically the 6kWh of energy spent on refining (or any other work) is itself subject to inefficiencies in generation, transmission, etc. It would also suffer from inefficiencies in the electrical storage and motive portions of an electric vehicle as well. And at the end of the day even if there were perfect 100% conversion it would still only be 6kWh of energy available vs 33-34kWh.
Regarding the 6kWh number, I have been having a lot of trouble confirming it. Some stuff I have read says that refineries are major consumers of grid electricity. Others claim that they can produce most of their energy needs from the oil distillates on-site. My best guess is that it probably depends on how old the refinery is, because it seems like the older reports/estimates tend to mention the electricity consumption, whereas the newer ones mention the 'on-site' energy generation/consumption. I think a lot of the energy demand of the refinery is used for heating, so burning the oil distillates would be way more efficient than using grid electricity for that. So, it may just be the case that older refineries are way less efficient than newer ones, and the 'EV vs ICE' comparison depends on how modern the refineries are in your area.
Which gives to a mere 4Wh of additional power extracted from gasoline.
* The extremely loud engine and exhaust. (They are loud and unpleasant to listen to - it ain't no Ferrari)
* The slamming of the doors open and closed.
If I hear a loud agricultural sounding engine and then a loud slamming sliding type door... I know it's UPS - 100%. I don't even need to look outside.
Germany's parcel service DHL builds up a fleet of small electric delivery vans since 2014:
Living in Bavaria, I see these drive around everywhere now.
Good for DHL. I would buy such a thing if they sold them to consumers.
In Chicago, FedEx has had electric delivery vans since at least 2005.
I saw a UPS truck in Nevada last month that I thought was a regular UPS truck until it sped away almost silently. I guess UPS has been converting its fleet, but I don't know for how long..
There are also parts of Germany where delivery trucks need to be able to go on the highway and to drive farther than 62 miles.
Our last Republican governor in Illinois spent some quality time trashing this company, which sure looks shortsighted in retrospect: https://www.adaptbn.com/home/2018/5/16/breaking-rauner-criti...
He also made a point to trash all of Central Illinois as a place to do business, which is a heck of a strategy for business development. https://www.news-gazette.com/news/rauner-apologizes-for-rema...
Anyway, yay, the auto plant that funded my upbringing is back in action.
he just started at rivian, back in the old Mitsubishi plant.
has to be surreal
do you have video in HD?
Neat they're using the plant again.
They don't build them like they used to. Probably for a reason. My dad heard gossip at the plant they had to move away from the racer boy turbo platform because they were just too astronomically expensive to insure–because they were invariably driven by 20-something guys who wrapped them around trees.
And as an adult male who has driven a WRX: yes, that tracks.
He had to take one ticket to court because he was being passed by a Caddy, and the gun picked up their speed rather than his.
It was a blast to drive though.
There's a saying about tigers and stripes for exactly this situation. Anyone who thought he would be good for downstate because he had an R beside his name was thinking very wishfully.
The price is not a niche price you may imagine; it’s very highly competitive for fleet managers that entirely makes sense on their books and not just for the environment or marketing. You don’t have to wait for the product to be R&D or whatever, because they’re rolling off the line right now, and typically no charging infrastructure is needed due to on-board charging.
If you are delivering vehicles today, then the technology that you have validated is (although not vapourware) older than today. And to meet people’s expectation of a cheap vehicle without operating at a loss (no VC money), there are realities imposed by cost.
Someone like Rivian with lots of VC money isn’t concerned with surviving between sales, so they can afford to take the risk of selling things that don’t exist yet, at a loss if they desire, and so their marketing department is constantly walking on water.
Headline is false. Amazon have NOT ordered 100k electric delivery trucks. Amazon have made a announcement to get a lot of free press. For themselves (vitue signalling, oooh isn't amazon green) and for the company in which they have invested.
Seriously. I'm announcing here that I will order bezos' underpants. You should take it as seriously. Corporate PR is and this is another weak edition of it from Amazon.
But, in any case: do you actually have doubts that this is real? I can see scepticism regarding the timetable and targeted number of vehicles. But for Amazon to just nope away now would be catastrophic for their $750 million investment in Rivian, and their general image. It would destroy far more than whatever this announcement may get in terms of good PR.
And isn't investing $750 million into such a company enough "skin in the game" to make accusations of "virtue signalling" nonsensical, even by that cheap insult's own definition?
"Virtue signalling" is not a cheap insult it's a useful discription of a behaviour. It also isn't in any way BAD. No really. Signalling that you are doing good things and should be thought of as doing those good things thus enhancing your brand reputation is actually what everybody wants, right? Positive PR for doing things that are good. Signalling to the market your virtue based on actual substance. Not paper thin announcements that we will be announcing something of substance later to stoke the news cycle. That's gamed up crap.
Again I don't see substance in this announcment. I see a false headline. I'm calling it because that is what it is and virtue needs to be real, not simply corporate PR "announcements" of no commitment. Or nobody gets good PR from doing good things of real substance.
Separate to that, looking at amazon stories lately is it possible to cynical enough about their PR? That's reflected here.
> Amazon today announced the order of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian, the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles, with vans starting to deliver packages to customers in 2021. Amazon plans to have 10,000 of the new electric vehicles on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030—saving 4 million metric tons of carbon per year by 2030.
Bezos is probably trying to pressure UPS (or has some other business motive) versus target Amazon’s carbon footprint. Amazon will undoubtably grow its own delivery fleet over time, but this splashy press release is probably not entirely about climate change.
Um... yeah. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a truck.
An electric delivery truck is probably not even in the cards for small players, where gas or diesel is a better option all around.
Additionally, heavily loaded vehicles should really have both special care and special jacks to change the tire with a load intact.
Nice picture there. Also, search Rivian on the TFL Trucks web site for everything they have ever done on the Rivian.
And the founders get paid twice or thrice!
> The commerce giant will seek to meet its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040
Suppose that does not happen? Their goal with this is simply to shift the fleet of vans they rely on today to electric to reduce cost. Currently most of that is third party operated and diesel powered. The cost of that diesel is a big component of the delivery cost for Amazon. Besides, lots of cities relevant to Amazon are currently considering diesel bans/restrictions. So they have a solid motive for wanting to address that.
The mission of these delivery vans is very simple. They do nothing else than drive to and from Amazon's massive distribution centers to pick up loads of packages and distribute them in the area. I don't have numbers here but I imagine the vast majority of these trips are well below 150 miles.
So, the mission for an electric delivery van would be to drive these routes and charge quickly in between from a preferably cheap power source. It so happens that these distribution centers are huge and vans have to stop there to take new packages on board; which represents a great opportunity to plug in.
Huge distribution center here means lots of room for a couple of mega watts worth of solar panels on the roof to power a couple of tens of charging points. The resulting power can be delivered to super chargers at the loading docks and the vans can probably suck up enough power while they are loading to cover the next round. And of course, using solar power probably gets Amazon access to some nice subsidies and grants as well as lots of great PR about how green they are.
Why partner with Rivian for this? Well, Amazon is faced with a market where the existing manufactuers are dragging their heels a bit. There are some electrical vans on the market but not quite at the scale needed and most of the big manufacturers are not shipping them in meaningful volume yet. Nothing like a Tesla like small startup to shake that up a little. Best case Rivian actually delivers. Worst case Amazon just buys electric vans from somebody else (whomever steps up). Also, they just put all the third party delivery companies on notice that Amazon wants to go electric. They too would need to charge these vans and I bet they can do that on favorable terms at Amazon's chargers in Amazon's distribution centers. Yep, they'd be buying electricity from Amazon to deliver for Amazon. Either way, the vans become electric and Amazon has a need for charging infrastructure.
Best case of course this works out for Rivian as intended and Amazon gets a nice return on investment. From their point of view, they already have a great drive train for a ridiculously overpowered pickup truck and they are already building production capacity for that. Delivery vans don't need four wheel drive and probably also don't really need 400 miles of range. Meaning, a smaller variant of the drive train but with the fast charging capability would be perfect for one of these vans. Bonus points for making them capable of autonomous driving; which is something Rivian is investing in.
Finally, why 100K? Very simple. Amazon has hundreds of distribution centers serviced by hundreds of vans. If you want to electrify all/most of them you'd need about 100K vans. Ten years is reasonable timeline to electrify the delivery fleet one way or another.
I'm glad you realize that carbon-negative activities can offset carbon-positive activities. I really don't understand why you immediately declare that it doesn't matter, though.
If the average person/company uses mostly-renewable supplies, and buries enough trees to offset the rest, then it doesn't 'only delay' carbon emissions, we can stop forever or even reduce the levels.
And you act like delaying bad effects for hundreds of years isn't a very good thing all by itself...
Liftime EV-Van Footprint = Production-Footprint(EV-Van) + Operational-Footprint(EV-Van, lifetime-miles-driven)
Lifetime ICE-Van Footprint = Production-Footprint(ICE-Van) + Operational-Footprint(ICE-Van, lifetime-miles-driven)
This calculation overwhelmingly favors the EV van, increasingly so as the carbon footprint of the operational electricity source itself reduces in footprint (i.e. increasing use of solar, window, nuclear, etc). Delivery vans in particular have a charging profile (late evening through morning) that matches the peak production of wind.
Note that the carbon footprint of petroleum use is strictly higher than even the highest carbon sources of electricity, and it has a high extraction cost also.
The difference in noise alone is unbelievable. The elimitation of tailpipe emissions is a huge bonus in a dence city centre. Even if the lifecycle emissions are the same it would still be worth it.
The only thing I don't like about them is the torque and instant reaction of the motor make it easy for inconsiderate bus drivers to make the ride quite unpleasant.
It's one of these if you are interested:
Seems easy enough to solve this with a fly-by-wire "throttle" and some software to limit max acceleration from a stop.
That article compares the footprint of building a new car vs keeping and existing already built car, not ICE vs EV lifetime carbon footprint. The actual reduction in lifetime carbon footprint for an EV is around 50% vs and ICE, as described here:
Not sure if you'd call that night and day, but it's pretty huge.
> . But there's no doubt that the EV is a huge improvement in use, and switching a large portion of the trucks in our cities to EV would be giant win for air quality.
Indeed, and by consequence, it should reduce the rate of respiratory illnesses in cities caused by particular air pollution today.
I'm not sure it makes it worse. Lithium is a common, non-toxic element that is easily recycle-able. Pound-for-pound batteries are "just" mostly replacing steel and lead (and oil-based lubricating fluids) ICE engine components, which can be toxic, sometimes nearly impossible to recycle, and produced in very unclean smelting, machining, (and refining) operations.
It's easy to forget that the electromagnet motors in an EV are not just a lot fewer moving parts than an internal combustion engine, but are a lot fewer parts entirely. The emissions savings in all those ICE parts is presumably pretty big given how huge the relevant supply chains themselves are. (Ever glanced at a Bosch parts catalog? And that's just one supplier of dozens.)
I've never seen a good breakdown of the emissions costs of a contemporary internal combustion engine and exhaust system, but that's a much better comparison versus the emissions associated with batteries than a lot of the current battery emissions breakdowns assume as if batteries were in addition to a traditional engine, rather than almost a full replacement for one.
I think one of main constraints on battery cost is the price of cobalt, which is a conflict mineral. Some chemistries (like lithium iron phosphate) don't need cobalt, but a lot of the high-performing batteries do.
Cobalt is also presumed to be entirely recycle-able from most battery compositions, but is in such small quantities that it isn't today economically feasible (and so long as people are mining Nickel, unlikely to be).
Don't you need + Disposal-Footprint(EV-Van) and + Disposal-Footprint(ICE-Van) tacked on to the end of both of your equations?
EV and ICE vans don't magically poof! into thin air once you're done with them.
If X vans last 3x longer than Y vans, driving the same number of miles per day, they're an improvement over Y even if there lifetime footprint is twice as big.
EVs really are a lot more efficient. When I worked it out for an EV charging from 'average' UK electricity, it was about 25% of my (already small and efficient) ICE car.
Are you saying they should repurpose already built trucks, instead of buying new ones? Then we would have to calculate how long the new electric trucks would take to offset their emissions.
If buying used was not on the table, this question is moot.
 - https://www.theguardian.com/environment/green-living-blog/20...
Add the cost of the van, plus cost of power to the van, vs cost of ICE van, plus fuel.