Rivian is already lobbying. What does it want?

Mjhirsch78

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Great read.
 

cc84

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Hmmm.....Interesting article indeed. Thanks! I may be rethinking my position on Rivian and focus a little more on Lordstown Motors. My problem with Lordstown is their 80 mph top speed, but I may reconsider.
 

DucRider

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Hmmm.....Interesting article indeed. Thanks! I may be rethinking my position on Rivian and focus a little more on Lordstown Motors. My problem with Lordstown is their 80 mph top speed, but I may reconsider.
I'm curious. What in this article made you want to move away from Rivian?
 
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cc84

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I'm curious. What in this article made you want to move away from Rivian?
"We're trying to limit the impact of anti-EV legislation. Sen. [John] Barrasso [R-Wyo.] keeps pushing for an EV fee on a federal basis under the claims that EVs don't pay the gas tax, so they're not supporting the highways and infrastructure. To us, that's a red-herring argument because the number of EVs on the road is barely above 1%.

This is a 100% scapegoating argument. This discourages investment into this new technology that was, at the end of the day, invented in the U.S."

Opinion only:
Rivian is a luxury vehicle, which normally won't be purchased by the average individual. Place yourself in the position of an owner of a $20,000 (?) ICE vehicle, paying the gas tax and you see a Rivian driving down the highway you're helping pay for, all the while knowing the luxury Rivian doesn't share in the cost and you'll never be able to afford one. IMHO, someone that is capable of purchasing a Rivian, should be able to afford an EV fee, provided it's a reasonable fee.

I get why Rivian is doing this and I might too, if I were in their shoes, but I'm not and I don't have to agree with their policy. The number of BEV's on the road, barely above 1%, has no bearing on my thoughts. I don't think percentage has anything to do with it, but rather the number of vehicles on the road sharing costs. I don't believe it would discourage investment into this new technology at all. A good number of customers, that want a BEV, are going to buy them, regardless of the EV Fee, provided it's reasonable. The dollar value wasn't discussed in the article, which poses another problem with the article, as to why assumptions were made without any documentation as to why they feel that way.

Frankly, the dilemma of not paying gas taxes for highways and infrastructure had never crossed my mind, until reading this article. I see both sides. However, I want to pay my fair share, but no more. I'm okay with the Federal Tax incentive. I'm not moving away from Rivian....yet, but I do want to make sure they are headed in the same direction as me. Do I want to pay an EV fee, to make up for lost gas taxes? No...but is it fair to the ICE vehicle owners? What is their opinion? I'm open to changing my mind, The questions I asked are just for consideration and not meant to elicit a reply. Hopefully this answered your question.
 
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I am fully against an "EV fee" but that doesn't mean I'm not willing to pay my fair share for maintaining roads, bridges, etc. The problem I have is trying to supplement the gas tax, which is a function of miles driven as well as the efficiency of the vehicle driven, with a flat fee that only applies to EVs. Sure, everyone would contribute something but not necessarily their fair share. Instead of a fuel tax, a miles based tax could easily be implemented for all vehicles and not just EVs based on odometer readings collected during annual safety inspections. Or ditch the fuel tax and charge a flat fee per vehicle or better yet per driver. Lots of ways to approach paying for roads. Unfortunately legislation always lags changes in technology or society and patchwork legislation is easier to pass than a complete overhaul.

And while I don't necessarily agree with the way Rivian presented their argument in the article, a special tax just for EVs will generally be perceived in a negative light and will impact EV adoption. This is why roads need to be funded in a technology agnostic manner. Replace the fuel tax, don't try to supplement it.

That's my 2 cents on the subject and I won't be commenting on this further.
 

cc84

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That's my 2 cents on the subject and I won't be commenting on this further.
I like your idea and the same as you, I didn't like the way it was presented in the article.
 

jjwolf120

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The question is also a policy question. If you want Evs to be adopted and price is a current barrier, then charging a fee when they are at 1% penetration doesn't make sense. However, it won't be long until there is a significant shortfall in gasoline taxes. There is also the issue that BEVs are heavier than the equivalent ICE car. It certainly behooves policy makers to figure out how they are going to replace lost gasoline taxes. My guess is that they will probably start charging some sort of fee when BEVs hit about 15% of the market. This will probably start in California.
 

ajdelange

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Many states already charge an extra fee for BEV registration on the basis that they don't yield any tax for road maintenance from fuel purchase. I can only say that without fear of contradiction with respect to Virginia as I live there and pay that tax. But I would be very surprised if VA was alone in this.

Electric cars: "Built by billionaires, sold to millionaires, paid for by the rest of us!" Guess who came up with that.
 
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I like your idea and the same as you, I didn't like the way it was presented in the article.
While I won't revisit my thoughts on how to actually pay for roads as we transition to alternate fuels (hydrogen also needs to be accounted for), I will share the following anecdote that might benefit Rivian in their lobbying efforts against EV fees.

Early in my career I was working for a small company and had regular interaction with executive leadership. One lesson I learned from our VP was that I would be more successful if I approached him with solutions he could implement rather than with problems he didn't know how to solve. I think that bit of advice might serve Rivian well in their lobbying against EV fees. Rather than complaining about the negative impact of fees on EV adoption and taking away an option that would help pay for roads, they should instead be lobbying for a better alternative to funding roads.
 

ajdelange

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The K street boys know the game. Note that in the interview the bloke merely expressed the opinion that EV taxes were a red herring at 1% penetration. He did not say that this way the way he presented the argument to the congressmen and senators he was lobbying. He knows how to do that. You tell the Democrats that holding back on the tax will have beneficial effects with respect to global warming and you tell the Republicans that holding back on the tax will make jobs. Or whatever BS these guys want to hear.

You are assuming that politicians are trying to solve problems. The only problem a politician has any concern about is getting re-elected.
 
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DucRider

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I am OK with Rivian (or any other company) presenting arguments about legislation that favor or are detrimental to their business. Essentially a form of free speech. Elected officials don't listen to individual voters, but to organizations that represent - or claim to - large blocks of them. That list would include the AARP, NRA, General Motors, Dairy Farmers of America, and Big Oil in many guises.
A company has two three choices.
1) Stand by silently and hope that Congress will have all the information it needs to consider the pros and cons of legislative proposals
2) Add their voice to the arguments and present information/opinion that otherwise could very well be overlooked/ignored
3) Almost forgot the most popular choice - Choice #1 with the addition of complaining loudly about rules/legislation that are passed or about the system itself being unfair.
Individuals have those same choices. I personally try and do the 2nd as much as I can with local, regional and other elected officials. I belong to organizations with goals that (at least sometimes) closely match mine.

I am not necessarily in favor of the way some things (like the Federal Tax Credit) are structured, but bottom line is that without incentives there would not be viable EVs on the market to choose from. There would be no Tesla, no Rivian, no Lordstown. I score it clearly on the pro side even though there are cons.
It's a shame that the Tax Credit is structured favors the wealthy, and that those that lobbied to get the structure changed (slightly lower $ amount applied at the time of sale with income/EV price restrictions was one proposal) were unsuccessful. As much as I dislike how the current Credit is structured, the only likely change is tho extend it as it is - anything that overhauls it completely will have so many parties tugging in so many different directions that no consensus will be reached and we will wind up with nothing.

Oregon has a tiered registration bump for fuel efficient vehicles. The better the mpg, the more you pay. EVs top the list at $153/yr - a $92/yr bump over a <20 mpg vehicle. a 40+ mpg vehicle has a $15/yr bump. They do offer reduced registration fees if you sign up for a program that has an OBDII dongle that tracks your driving and charges you per mile driven on public roads in Oregon (Doesn't work on many EVs) If you drive more than about 6K miles/yr in an EV, the flat fee is cheaper. There is also a tiered scale for Title fees along the same lines. Completely fair? Probably not but a reasonable shot at it.

I'm fortunate(?) enough that my work promoting EVs allows me to sit on various alphabet soup committees that help form some policies in Oregon.
 
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thrill

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"A company has two three choices. "

4) Sue any company, with anything you think might stick to the wall, that looks like a near term threat but is too big to just buy and bury.
 

azbill

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You are assuming that politicians are trying to solve problems. The only problem a politician has any concern about is getting re-elected.
And if you are a Democrat, you want to tout that you will raise taxes on the 1%.
 
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