Do I really need the Max Pack?

Ray R

Active Member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
54
Location
Canby, OR
Vehicles
Bolt
I’ve been struggling to decide whether a 300+ mile range is enough, or if I really need to spend the extra $10k on the Max Pack. I started my EV journey with a VW e-Golf that had a 125 mile range. Then I recently bought a Chevy Bolt that over doubled that range to 259 miles. After a month in the Bolt, I’m finding that I haven’t found any driving situation leaving me wanting more range.
But part of me says the 400+ mile range of the Max Pack will help “future proof” the R1T I have a deposit on. As the battery degrades over time, it would still have enough range to do anything I may ask of it. My goal is to have the R1T as my forever vehicle. If I get the 300 mi pack, perhaps the cost of replacement will be inexpensive enough down the road that spending an extra $10k now doesn’t make sense.
Any thoughts from the collective to help with my decision?





Advertisement

 

BigE

Well-Known Member
First Name
Eric
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
142
Reaction score
143
Location
North Carolina
First Name
Eric
Vehicles
Acura MDX, Honda S2000, Tesla Model Y
I’ve been struggling to decide whether a 300+ mile range is enough, or if I really need to spend the extra $10k on the Max Pack. I started my EV journey with a VW e-Golf that had a 125 mile range. Then I recently bought a Chevy Bolt that over doubled that range to 259 miles. After a month in the Bolt, I’m finding that I haven’t found any driving situation leaving me wanting more range.
But part of me says the 400+ mile range of the Max Pack will help “future proof” the R1T I have a deposit on. As the battery degrades over time, it would still have enough range to do anything I may ask of it. My goal is to have the R1T as my forever vehicle. If I get the 300 mi pack, perhaps the cost of replacement will be inexpensive enough down the road that spending an extra $10k now doesn’t make sense.
Any thoughts from the collective to help with my decision?
I’ve been struggling with the same though. I normally keep a vehicle 10 years. Also, we’ll be towing a camper at times which will cut range in 1/2. Then there is the possibility of a $80k cap on EV’s for the tax credit. One of the CS reps was debating with me, that over time with more rapid chargers, Max pack will not be necessary, but that fails to account for degradation. I think if the tax credit is still in place say for $85k, I’ll go Max pack. Otherwise may go mid and trade in when better batteries are on the market.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Don

Lil'O Annie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
158
Reaction score
291
Location
Washington State
Vehicles
Chevy BoltEV, COMING SOON!! R1T LE/LG/FE
Occupation
Farming, semi-retired
Also keep in mind, that on long trips you'll be charging up to around 80% at each stop and not 100%. So you're looking at more like 240mi and not 300+. With a max pack your looking at around 320mi at 80%.

If you can wait, the max pack is the way to go, especially if you plan to keep the truck forever and do a lot of long distance travel.
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
First Name
A. J.
Joined
Aug 1, 2019
Messages
1,456
Reaction score
939
Location
Virginia/Quebec
First Name
A. J.
Vehicles
Tesla X Extended Range Plus 2019, Lexus, Landcruiser, SR5
Occupation
EE Retired
No one has ever said it better than someone on one of these fora. I can't remember which or who so I cannot give much deserved credit to whoever it was. His words may be more meaningful to pilots than others but what he said was:

"Extra range is like extra runway. Most of the time you don't need it but when you do, you do."
 

Reed

Well-Known Member
First Name
Reed
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Messages
76
Reaction score
95
Location
Burnaby, BC, Canada
First Name
Reed
Vehicles
2002 Toyota Tacoma
Occupation
Retired
This is going to be a popular thread. There are likely many of us flip flopping around on battery size.

Currently, I have the max battery selected. But, that could change. The large significantly cuts the cost of the vehicle and is slightly more efficient. If there are plenty of chargers, why bother dragging around the extra weight?

In BC, we have plenty of chargers in the southern part of the province. Not so much in the north. And, of course, a map covered in dots representing chargers can be misleading. Many of those dots are level two chargers.

Whenever I have this debate with myself, I always end up looking at one trip to Kyuquat on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Everything starts off great in Vancouver and up the east coast of Vancouver Island. At Campbell River, about halfway up the island, there is a DCFC where I could charge the battery to the top.

Okay, this is where the fun begins. Assuming the large battery, I leave Campbell River with 480 km of range (probably less). I drive 129 km to a small community called Woss, where there is a level two charger. Here, I leave the paved road and drive a logging road 100 km to Kyuquat. The campground here does not have plug-ins for RV's. I wouldn't count on getting any charge unless in an emergency. So, that's a 200 km round trip to get back to Woss, and then 129 km back to Campbell River.

I won't bore you with the math, but it's obvious that unless I like a lot of stress, charging at Woss is a necessity for this trip. Inconvenience? Total pain in the rear? That depends on how much the logging road affects my battery level. If the rough road sucks the battery down quite a bit, I could end up having to sit at Woss for a long time.

And, that is why I selected the max battery. And, why it has not yet been changed to large. I see too many trips where having the large battery would leave me twiddling my thumbs at a level two charger, or, worse, not able to go where I want to go.
 

nfrank

Well-Known Member
First Name
Nathan
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
47
Reaction score
69
Location
Santa Clara, CA
First Name
Nathan
Vehicles
F-150
I'm not an EV driver, yet. I'm a pickup driver. My 2011 F-150 claims 21mpg on the highway. There are so many things you do with trucks that increase the drag. If load up some stuff in the bed, drive 70-75 mph, hit some traffic, and climb some hills I will easily get down to 17mpg (~20% reduction).

My 328d BMW hits the rated mpg easily in so many situations. Trucks are boxy, hold extra weight, and many times you'll have things in it that reduce drag.

I think the 400 mile range will be worth it. The EPA ratings on EV should state the difference between highway and city driving, just like in ICE vehicles. The R1T could only end up with a range of 370 highway. Then throw all your gear in the back, drive a little fast, go through the hills, use all-terrain tires, and I'll think you'll be down to 280 miles range or worse real fast.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Don

Andystroh

Active Member
First Name
Andrew
Joined
Mar 18, 2021
Messages
25
Reaction score
44
Location
Colorado
First Name
Andrew
Vehicles
2002 4runner
My wife and I put together about 30 trips we take at least every couple years here in CO and then looked at 30% degradation in both (a little for time-degradation, a little for winter). We looked at what we could do with current charging, and the future RAN with both vehicles. We found the biggest difference was for day trips - most places we visit we could get to in either a single charge or would require a charge for both, but getting to and back from some places wasn't possible for the large pack and was for the max. Large pack would require traveling a different way.
It was a pretty useful exercise, and we decided currently on max pack, just so some longer days for ski trips where we are already waking up at 2am to ski something a few hours away we don't have to charge on the way home, and to give us a little more buffer if we camp the night before (e.g. 150 mile drive, camp, come home the next day).
I do think with improved charging infrastructure it will be less necessary, especially if you don't venture deep in the mountains, but it still feels pretty early on and some remote places probably won't have fast chargers for several years.
 

CommodoreAmiga

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
995
Reaction score
1,542
Location
USA
Vehicles
N/A
For most of the year the 300 mile pack would be fine for me. The reason I really want the MAX pack is for when I take a trip or want to tow something several hundred miles without having to stop every 30 minutes.

Is it worth $10k? For me, probably. For others, maybe not. It's a personal choice.

I'm a bit concerned, however, with recent proposed changes to tax law. If passed in their current form, EV's over $80k would lose a tax credit worth $10,000 (for Rivian, at least). That means the Max pack would cause me to lose $10k and pay $10k additional. Is the max pack worth $20k? Not to me.

On the plus side, I've got months to figure it out.
 

kanundrum

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
1,060
Reaction score
2,807
Location
Washington, DC
Vehicles
Sketch At most
Occupation
IT
Id argue only if your towing long distances OR live in the middle of no-where/do a lot of LONG trips.

Otherwise infrastructure for fast charging will become more and more prevalent.

I stop every few hours for coffee/bio breaks so charging will go hand and hand especially at 200kw+, 300kw+
 

2021R1T

Active Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
34
Reaction score
44
Location
Golden
Vehicles
P3D
On long-distance trips, the required time to charge is essentially the same regardless of the battery pack size. You might stop a couple of times extra along the route but that is a small differential. In playing around with various EV route planners there are a lot of short charge time stops especially with Tesla's planner. If you are planning on towing or commuting at the limit of 300 mile range maybe but I'll save the money. By the time I need a new battery, the truck will be gone or there will be a nice 500+ mile range pack to put in for less than 10k.
 

nfrank

Well-Known Member
First Name
Nathan
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
47
Reaction score
69
Location
Santa Clara, CA
First Name
Nathan
Vehicles
F-150
The tax law is my conundrum also. I've decided to still be able to get the tax credit, I'll move to explorer package and upgrade my wheels aftermarket.

The tax law should really be based on battery pack size. In my mind this EV is talking me out of buying another F150 because it can go 400 miles and is a truck. The tax payers get the most out of their money convincing people to get out of Chevy Tahoes and Ram 1500s into R1Ss and R1Ts. The $80k limit should be higher. Those people are paying $65k+ for the ICE SUV and can be convinced to go electric. That'll save a lot of green house gasses.
 

Inkedsphynx

Member
Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
72
Location
Washington
Vehicles
'21 Defender 90, '21 CB500FA
I personally dislike not stopping at least every 3 hours on long trips. I figure with a large pack, even while towing, I'm likely to still end up somewhere around that 3 hour mark between charging, especially if I'm sticking closer to 60mph towing than 70mph.

In some ways I'm very much looking forward to an EV requiring me to take a bit more time when traveling. The only reason I'd want the max pack is that it would give me more range for overlanding between chargers, but I'm holding out hope that the RAN in the PNW compensates for this within the first 2-3 years of ownership. I'd love to do the PCOR but there are currently several legs that neither a large or max pack could do.
 

azbill

Well-Known Member
First Name
Bill
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
649
Reaction score
732
Location
Arizona
First Name
Bill
Vehicles
GMC Sierra, Bolt, Sky, MME CA Route 1
Occupation
Engineer
Having been a pilot, I also understand the concept of having enough fuel to get to an alternate airport. When it comes to a DFDC on your route, you can think of that as your primary airport. What if that DFDC is inoperative? How far is your alternate DFDC? Is there a Level 2 backup?

I had a real world situation a couple of years ago, when traveling from Phoenix to LA with my Bolt. My planned DFDC stop was in Blythe (130 miles) and the next available DFDC was in Indio (230 miles). Speed limit between Phoenix and Blythe is 75, so a lot of drag. Got to the only DFDC in Blythe and guess what? It was inoperative. I had 100 miles to go to the next DFDC with 60 miles range remaining. Fortunately there were multiple L2 chargers in Blythe, but had to charge for 2+ hours to add enough miles to get to the DFDC in Indio.

Today, the situation has changed, there are now 7 DFDCs in the Blythe/Quartzsite area. But if you have trips that have very few DFDCs on the route, you will definitely want the extra range.
 

DuckTruck

Well-Known Member
First Name
Duck
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
940
Reaction score
1,733
Location
PNW
First Name
Duck
Vehicles
Corvair, BMW325, Acura Legend, XC60, '16 Caddy ELR
No one has ever said it better than someone on one of these fora. I can't remember which or who so I cannot give much deserved credit to whoever it was. His words may be more meaningful to pilots than others but what he said was:

"Extra range is like extra runway. Most of the time you don't need it but when you do, you do."
Or, as we all found out in the great Toilet Paper Conundrum of 2020, to quote Kafka, "Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have."
 

MountainBikeDude

Well-Known Member
First Name
Adam
Joined
Jun 20, 2019
Messages
176
Reaction score
388
Location
Vancouver
First Name
Adam
Vehicles
2010 Nissan Xterra (El Cap R1T Max pack)
I’ve been struggling to decide whether a 300+ mile range is enough, or if I really need to spend the extra $10k on the Max Pack. I started my EV journey with a VW e-Golf that had a 125 mile range. Then I recently bought a Chevy Bolt that over doubled that range to 259 miles. After a month in the Bolt, I’m finding that I haven’t found any driving situation leaving me wanting more range.
But part of me says the 400+ mile range of the Max Pack will help “future proof” the R1T I have a deposit on. As the battery degrades over time, it would still have enough range to do anything I may ask of it. My goal is to have the R1T as my forever vehicle. If I get the 300 mi pack, perhaps the cost of replacement will be inexpensive enough down the road that spending an extra $10k now doesn’t make sense.
Any thoughts from the collective to help with my decision?
It's a hard financial pill to swallow for sure, but like you, I intend to keep my Rivian for 10+ years and the way I look at it is, the extra battery will give me a more unencumbered range experience be it for back country driving or just longer trips in general. Will the large pack get me there as well? Absolutely! But as time goes by and range starts to degrade, even if it hits 75% of original 400 mile capacity, I'll still have 300 on tap. In the end, thats my way of future-proofing my Rivian for its later life.
 

Advertisement





 


Advertisement
Top