Possible First Peek at Rivian's Future Rally Model

bathbunny

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You do realize that Tesla is in serious financial trouble, right?
Actually, there are lots of reasons to doubt that. Wall Street has this microscopic vision when it comes to Tesla, interpreting every cough or blink of Musk's and every change in personnel as if the company's future was at stake each time -- I cannot remember any company undergoing that level of scrutiny in the financial world. (If Wall Street had paid the mortgage industry just 1/100 of the attention they are paying now to Tesla, which in terms of capital represents far less than 1% of that mortgage industry, the crash of 2008 would never have taken place...). Wall Street has been wrong on Tesla at every turn so far, just like it has been wrong on Amazon since it was founded...

That Tesla is having a cash crunch at present is almost certainly true, but it's hardly a surprise, as it has to do a huge build up in Shanghai (the Gigafactory building will be ready for setting up the production lines in 6mos, so Tesla must buy a lot of very expensive equipment) and another at Gigafactory 1 (and there they have to continue adding to the current building, which is only 1/3 complete, so they have both construction costs and equipment costs); in addition, they need to get started on planning a production line for the semi and they have a bubble propagating down the production-payment-delivery line due to their starting shipments to Europe and China, with long transit times for the vehicles on the ships.

But, and that's the key, it's all investments in battery and vehicle production, it's temporary (the bubble will disappear in a month or two, when shipments to other lands are routine, and the buildup in Shanghai will be over by end of year) and they still own the EV market and will continue to do so for the next couple of years at least -- the only real competition coming up before 2022 is the Porsche Taycan, which will ship around New Year and will probably take some sales away from Model S. (VW is getting close to something real, but their first vehicle looks like it will be a Golf-type and will most likely be aimed at Europe. The new Nissan Leaf is quite nice, but overpriced in comparison with the base Model 3, and not made in large volumes. Very little is known about efficiency for the forthcoming vehicle projects -- but so far nothing has come even close to Tesla.)
Assuming their expectations for Model Y pan out (again, there is no competition for it for at least 2 years), Tesla will have plenty of time to recoup their current investments.

If Rivian produces another niche vehicle for rally racing, that's great -- the more BEVs out there in the press, on social networks and TV, and in the streets, the better. But it's not Rivian that's driving the scene; at this point, if Tesla were to fail, Rivian would fail very soon thereafter. The real risk is that various propaganda machines set up by the likes of the Koch brothers are out to discredit clean energy in general, BEVs more specifically, and Tesla in particular, and if they can convince Wall Street to drive Tesla's stock down by 80%, they might just succeed in killing Tesla, delay wide adoption of BEVs by 10 years, and almost certainly kill our civilization's last chance at survival... (Europe will try to pull ahead on the energy front anyway, but it is increasingly disunited; and nationalist types, on the ascendant in Europe just like Trump has been in the US, never seem concerned about the future...)
 

CappyJax

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"The real risk is that various propaganda machines set up by the likes of the Koch brothers are out to discredit clean energy in general"

BEV's are not clean in anyway. The vast majority of them are powered by electricity that is produced from burning coal. Tesla's have a carbon footprint of around a 45MPG ICE vehicle. And even if we had an electric society, it won't reverse climate change in anyway because we are destroying our carbon sinks. The ONLY way for humans to reverse climate change is to end animal agriculture and start a massive replanting of the nearly 2 billion hectares destroyed for feed crop and grazing land.
 

CappyJax

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Oh, also, Tesla has one of the worst reliability and service ratings. As new BEV's are being produced by the major players, the less Tesla's are going to appeal to the mainstream because they can't even get them worked on in a reasonable amount of time.
 

bathbunny

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"The real risk is that various propaganda machines set up by the likes of the Koch brothers are out to discredit clean energy in general"

BEV's are not clean in anyway. The vast majority of them are powered by electricity that is produced from burning coal. Tesla's have a carbon footprint of around a 45MPG ICE vehicle. And even if we had an electric society, it won't reverse climate change in anyway because we are destroying our carbon sinks. The ONLY way for humans to reverse climate change is to end animal agriculture and start a massive replanting of the nearly 2 billion hectares destroyed for feed crop and grazing land.
That's a seriously fallacious argument about BEVs and about electrical energy.
The whole point of BEVs is that they provide a significant incentive for the electric power industry to move away from fossil fuels and invest in non-polluting energy production (wind, geothermal, solar with battery backups, hydro, etc.), BEVs are as clean as the electricity they consume -- they will grow cleaner (not just future ones, but also existing ones) as states and countries acquire cleaner means of electrical production. In contrast, you cannot run a zero-carbon ICE car...

My own Model 3 Tesla is completely zero-carbon: living in Hawaii, I charge it exclusively at home from my solar panels -- I do not use any electricity from the utility for the car (or for anything else) and never use fossil fuels for anything beyond a Christmas candle or two...

Obviously, not everyone lives where solar energy is plentiful, but power companies can produce electricity where natural, non-polluting energy sources abound and move it around the country or even between countries. There are plenty of studies showing that all of the energy going into electricity production and fuel-based transportation could be produced from such non-polluting, renewable sources -- it would take a huge effort on the part of all countries to make that change, yes, but it's entirely doable.

I am all for replanting and changing our diet (I am a vegetarian for ecological reasons) to minimize the impact of agriculture -- that's very important; but that's an enormous cultural change in the Americas (think of Trump's characterization of the Green New Deal: "they are going to take away your hamburger"), one that's going to take far more time to accomplish than moving to clean energy. Moreover, replanting millions of hectares with natural cover would not suffice anyway if we continue to burn fossil fuels. We need both!
So, please, let's not belittle clean energy and clean transportation ;-)

So far, Hawaii, California, and New Mexico have committed to zero-carbon emission (Hawaii) or 100%s renewable (California, New Mexico) energy by 2045; more states will join. In those states, BEVs will be completely clean cars; electric buses and trains will not produce CO2 or sulfur compounds; etc.

(PS. Tesla's use of energy averages around 250Wh/mi with AC, around 375Wh/mi with heater in cold weather-- my own Model 3 over 10mos averages 230Wh/mi with AC always on. A gallon of gasoline has 36.6KWh of energy, so we're really looking at about 95mpg equivalent when using the heater and 144mpg equivalent when using the AC, nowhere close to the 45mpg you mention.)
 

Hmp10

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The vast majority of them are powered by electricity that is produced from burning coal.
Only about 25% of electricity in the U.S. is currently generated by coal, and that figure is declining steadily. Where I live, Florida Power & Light is expanding solar farms at the second-fastest rate in the nation. They closed their last coal-fired generation plant last year and are closing two more oil-fired plants this year. Right now they generate with a combination of four nuclear plants, a few remaining oil-fired plants, more natural-gas fired plants, and solar farms. By 2030, they expect 40% of their generation to come from solar, with remaining oil-fired plants closed and the other 60% coming from nuclear and natural gas.

The two largest producers of fossil-fuel-fired turbine generators in the world, GE and Siemens, are both under financial stress because of the world-wide decline in fossil-fuel generation, as nuclear remains big in Europe and all regions of the developed world are transitioning to wind and solar generation far more quickly than was predicted even a decade ago. Germany, for instance, plans to generate 35% of its power from renewable sources by 2020, and it has already been exporting excess solar power from peak production periods for several years.

If ubiquitous fast-charging were to appear overnight (it won't) and the world were to rush to EV's, the need to meet that electricity demand would probably necessitate a return, at least for a while, to more fossil-fueled generation. But the fossil fuels to which we would resort first would most likely be natural gas, followed by oil, with coal bringing up the rear.

Economics as well as environmental issues are working against the coal industry, and no amount of campaign promises or rolling back of clean air regulations is going to change that.
 
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CappyJax

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Sure you can run a zero carbon ICE. Biofuels, syn fuels, and methane can all come from renewable sources.

Please explain how BEV’s provide power companies an incentive to move toward clean sources of energy.

Actually, if the 2 billion hectares of forests we have destroyed still existed, it would absorb 100% of our yearly carbon emissions.

We really need to invest in safe nuclear like Thorium until fusion ever becomes viable. Fossil fuels aren’t going to be able to meet our demands.
 

Hmp10

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I did not say BEV's create an incentive to move toward clean sources of energy. I merely pointed on that your assertion that the "vast majority" of EV's are charged with coal-sourced electricity is not correct, and that economics -- not EV's -- are pushing power generation companies away from fossil fuels, especially coal.
 

CappyJax

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It is not my assertion. https://www.climatecentral.org/news/a-roadmap-to-climate-friendly-cars-2013-16318

"I did not say BEV's create an incentive to move toward clean sources of energy."

"The whole point of BEVs is that they provide a significant incentive for the electric power industry to move away from fossil fuels and invest in non-polluting energy production (wind, geothermal, solar with battery backups, hydro, etc.)"

So, exactly what are you saying? Because these two statements contradict each other.
 

Hmp10

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That link you posted was from 2013. A lot has changed with power generation in the ensuing six years, particularly the unexpectedly rapid decline of coal usage.

That second quote that begins "the whole point of BEV's" is not a quote from me but from bathbunny, so I'm rather confused why you're arguing with me about self-contradictions.
 

CappyJax

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1.5 Petawatts from coal in 2013 down to 1.3 Petawatts from coal now is hardly a rapid decline.

sorry, when people don't post profile pics, it is hard to tell them apart.
 

Hmp10

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Try this recent government source:

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

It shows that in 2018, 27.4% of the electricity in the U.S. was generated by coal.

An article in Scientific American in December 2018 reported information from this same U. S. Energy Information Agency that "projected that U.S. coal consumption would hit a low this year not seen since 1979. The drop in consumption coincides with a near-record number of coal plant closures, which are on track to total roughly 14 gigawatts in 2018, or more than double 2017 levels." That's a pretty rapid decline.

One of the reasons GE is in such trouble is that in 2017 they acquired Baker Hughes, an oil and gas equipment manufacturer, for top dollar. GE was seeing such a decline in coal-fired generator sales that they decided to place a big bet on oil and gas generation. The deal turned into a disaster, because GE failed to foresee how quickly renewable sources would be brought on line, and oil and gas growth soon stalled. (I'm a GE retiree and was following this mess as it unfolded.)
 

CappyJax

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14 gigawatts is a little over 1% of 1.3 petawatt. Yeah, not a rapid decline.
 

Hmp10

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I don't know where you're getting your information, but here is the data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

"EIA expects total U.S. coal consumption in 2018 to fall to 691 million short tons (MMst), a 4% decline from 2017 and the lowest level since 1979. U.S. coal consumption has been falling since its peak in 2007, and EIA forecasts that 2018 coal consumption will be 437 MMst (44%) lower than 2007 levels, mainly driven by declines in coal use in the electric power sector.

The electric power sector is the nation’s largest consumer of coal, accounting for 93% of total U.S. coal consumption between 2007 and 2018. The decline in coal consumption since 2007 is the result of both the retirements of coal-fired power plants and the decreases in the capacity factors, or utilization, of coal plants as increased competition from natural gas and renewable sources have reduced coal’s market share.

In 2007, coal-fired capacity in the United States totaled 313 gigawatts (GW) across 1,470 generators. By the end of 2017, 529 of those generators, with a total capacity of 55 GW, had retired. So far in 2018, 11 GW of coal-fired generating capacity has retired through September, and another 3 GW are expected to retire in the final three months of the year, based on data reported to EIA by plant owners and operators. If these plants retire as planned, 2018 will be the second-highest year for coal retirements. Another 4 GW of capacity are planning to retire by the end of 2019."

I believe coal mine owners would view a 44% decline in just over ten years as a rapid decline.

And, according to the International Energy Agency's January 2019 report, 37% of electricity globally is generated by coal-fired plants. I cannot find any authoritative source that comes close to supporting your contention that the "vast majority" of power to charge electric vehicles comes from coal, either in the U.S. or globally.

If you have one, I'd be glad to look at it.
 

bathbunny

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It is not my assertion. https://www.climatecentral.org/news/a-roadmap-to-climate-friendly-cars-2013-16318

"I did not say BEV's create an incentive to move toward clean sources of energy."

"The whole point of BEVs is that they provide a significant incentive for the electric power industry to move away from fossil fuels and invest in non-polluting energy production (wind, geothermal, solar with battery backups, hydro, etc.)"

So, exactly what are you saying? Because these two statements contradict each other.
I was the one who made that second point.
BEVs without a change in electrical power generation are nice, but not a solution -- they are quieter, more efficient (for every ton of coal or natural gas or oil burned for electrical production, they go much farther than an ICE car would go using the same amount of gasoline or diesel energy), and a lot more fun to drive, but they would still pollute, by consuming dirty energy. They would just be a less offensive vehicle than an ICE car, but not by much.
Hence the whole point of having BEVs is to have them use *clean* electrical energy, produced with renewable energy sources with no carbon emissions. BEV owners will eventually demand such energy.
That means hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, and the like (in France, add nuclear, but note that most of the rest of Europe is phasing out its nuclear plants over the next 20 years), but NOT fossil fuels (natural gas is better than methane which is better than heavy fuel which is better than coal, but in fact all four are really bad at this point) and NOT biomass -- biomass has been used by several European countries to cheat on their own reporting of energy production (they import North American wood and burn it to produce energy and write that down as biomass, which in Europe is counted as carbon-neutral) and is a polluting form of energy, producing particulates and sulfuric compounds, plus the last thing we need is to burn more forests... (Keeping forests for firewood leads to ecological deserts, because these forests are made entirely of a few species of fast-growing trees.) It's OK to use compostable refuse to produce methane for electricity production, since that refuse must be handled in some manner and will release carbon any way we handle it, but it would be catastrophic to start extracting existing methane sources (such as those on the ocean floor), because these are fossil fuels (and far worse than CO2 as greenhouse gases).

So we have a virtuous cycle: BEV owners will want clean energy for their cars, energy producers will turn away from fossil fuel and move towards renewables, and that in turn will raise the cost of gasoline and lower that of electricity and push more people to replace their ICE vehicle with a BEV, producing more BEV owners who will want clean energy for their cars, etc.
We are now in the early stages of such cycles in various developed countries -- Norway is well ahead (somewhat ironically, since it is a major oil producer), as about 1/3 of new vehicles sold there are BEVs.
 
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