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    • This looks really cool, and is probably the most promising non-Tesla EV to date. But I'm a little worried it may not be able to achieve the promised range, and the bed looks really short to me, which seems like it will limit this truck to light-duty use.

      Aerodynamics and low rolling resistance are crucial in achieving good range, but this truck has huge tires, a very high clearance, and an oddly flat nose, all of which seem like bad things for range. The four independent motors are also likely to be less efficient than one or two motors would be, though it remains to be seen exactly what motor tech Rivian is using.

      They can compensate for this by making the battery bigger, but a bigger battery will make the truck significantly heavier and more expensive to manufacture, not to mention slower to charge.

      There's also the question of charging and maintenance infrastructure — Rivian doesn't have any service centers or access to a fast charging network like Tesla's super chargers, so they've got some big challenges ahead of them.

      I'd like to see it succeed though! It certainly seems like Rivian has a better chance than any other EV startup in recent memory.

    • Everything looks cool (cuz, that is except for the headlights. THOSE HAVE GOT TO GO. Horizontal is where it is at.

    • Looks like there is another candidate that combines the boxiness of Jeep and Land Rover and takes to the next level. It is called Bollinger B2 pickup truck.

      200 miler range with the top speed of 100mph for a boxy design is impressive. I prefer the curvy and futuristic aesthetics of the Rivian (except for the vertical headlights) over the utilitarian look of the Bollinger, but I'm sure there are fans out there who love the look.

      Which design do you like?

    • the brute conversion on jeep is the goal "for me" of an EV, boxy but tough and utilitarian while being geek heaven.

      The team that can convert any old steel to EV will be my savior, commercialize that and wow.

    • I took one look at it and thought poor Bollinger, it doesn't have a chance against Rivian. Then I searched YouTube and learned they introduced a B1 model at last year's LA Auto Show that looks like a Range Rover. At the time, they already had 12,000 preorders and several dozen press articles about it.

      This Fully Charged episode from last year makes it sound very cool.

    • I think he's totally right. Rivian has made a lot of big promises. If they deliver, it'll be amazing. Whether they'll be able to deliver is still an open question.

      I finally had time to read up in detail about Rivian and their new vehicles, and I'm both more interested and more skeptical. The more I read about the R1T and R1S the better they sound, but also the less convinced I am that Rivian can deliver these vehicles for the prices they've promised.

      So let's dig in!

      The base model R1T with the smallest battery will reportedly start at $69,000, and the most expensive configuration with the largest battery will cost around $100,000. Available battery sizes range from 105 kWh (~230 miles) to 180 kWh (~400 miles).

      Those mileage ratings work out to energy usage of about 450 watt-hours per mile for the R1T. For comparison, the highest-range Tesla Model X currently available, the P100, has a 100 kWh battery and promises ~295 miles of range, which equates to about 339 Wh/mile.

      This puts Rivian's range claims within the realm of possibility, but a mere 111 Wh difference between the sleek, aerodynamic Model X and the large, bulky R1T still seems a bit optimistic to me. Perhaps the R1T is more aerodynamic than it looks, or maybe its motors are surprisingly efficient. It's possible.

      But the Tesla Model X P100, with its 100 kWh battery, has a starting price of $99,000. That's almost exactly the promised price ceiling of the Rivian R1T, a car with a battery nearly twice the size.

      Tesla is currently far and away the world leader in lithium-ion battery manufacturing, in terms of both volume and cost efficiency. In 2016, Tesla said their battery pack manufacturing cost was somewhere in the area of $190 per kWh. In 2018, Elon Musk said they hope to get the cost below $100/kWh by 2020.

      This means that even if Rivian can somehow match Tesla's battery manufacturing costs, the top-spec 180 kWh Rivian R1T battery pack would still cost roughly $18,000 when the R1T goes on sale in 2020. That's a huge line item on a $100,000 car, especially one from a brand new company with a brand new manufacturing line and no existing economies of scale.

      I'm far from an expert on these matters so this is all just casual napkin speculation on my part, but I think Rivian's going to have a really hard time making these pricing promises come true.

    You've been invited!