ajdelange

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Rivian's patent is a no brainer from an engineer's POV. If you want to halve the current, split the parallel battery pack in half, put the halves in series and double the voltage. From the lawyers' POV, however, it is brilliant. Now no other manufacturer can use this obvious technique without paying a licensing fee to Rivian.

The New Rivians will very probably not use this technology.

No worries about waiting absent this or absent special stations for Rivian. One does not charge his 180 kWh battery with 180 kW. Assuming he has made a 200 mile run he will have withdrawn, at worst, 100 kWh and will require 40 minutes to replace that from a 150 kW CCS charger of which there are a few (11 at Albany, NY) at each of the Walmart EA stations. A Tesla owner driving an equally chimerical CT with about the same Wh/mi consumption would charge the same length of time at a 150 kW station. The driver of one of the current model Teslas would charge for around half an hour because his wh/mi are about 3/4 those of the Rivian or CT (at a 150 kW SC).

The "generic" CCS charger is/was a 50 kW unit with one CCS hose and one CHAdeMO. Those are all over rural Quebec (for example). This is changing as the EA project advances. Soon the 150 - 350 kW units will be the generic chargers and the 50 kW units only of interest as a means of "topping off" if you get lowish between the high power units or a wandering about at a leisurely pace.

All this aside, more DC fast chargers are better. The SC network was a tremendous marketing tool for Tesla and it can be one for Rivian as well if they put them at "adventure" sites which is apparently exactly what they are planning to do.
 

DucRider

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Rivian's patent is a no brainer from an engineer's POV. If you want to halve the current, split the parallel battery pack in half, put the halves in series and double the voltage. From the lawyers' POV, however, it is brilliant. Now no other manufacturer can use this obvious technique without paying a licensing fee to Rivian.

The New Rivians will very probably not use this technology.
I put it at about 50/50 that they will implement this technology to achieve the promised 300 kW charge capability. The other side of the coin is using 800V packs like the Porsche. We will see one or the other. It will be transparent to the user -they will pull into a 350 kW EA (or other) station and be able to charge twice as fast than if Rivian sticks with 400V charging. I doubt very much that Rivian will promise 300 kW charging capability that would require changes to the CCS standard and design, production and installation of different charging equipment than is currently in place allowing coast-to-coast travel. Neither the current standards nor the installed equipment allow for 300 kW charging at 400 (or even 500) volts.

Pros of the 800V volt battery pack over the split pack lie in weight savings and simplicity. Both of these also contribute cost savings and efficiency gains. Cons include that fewer "off the shelf" components are available and require a from the ground up approach (which Rivian seems to be doing anyway).
 

thrill

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The way the DC fast charger network is growing I wonder how long until a car arrives where that is the only charging option. After all, if you don't need 350KW or your source can't supply that level of charging, electricity is nice in that you can just pump slower.
 

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There are plenty of "adventure" sites for Rivian to electrify - about 700 in North America: 419 units in the US national park system, including parks, monuments, conservation areas, historical sites and others; 212 in Canada, and 67 in Mexico.

From a Rivian owner's POV, would you rather have Rivian exclusively target "adventure" sites for electrification, split the network between adventure & high density travel sites, or maximize charging stations at high density travel locations to the detriment of adventure sites?

This question plumbs several factors, including how Rivian's identity and market position may have changed in the nearly two years since launch at the 2018 LA Auto Show. I don't want Rivian to lose its adventurous forever focus, but BEV trucks are soon to be mainstream and with Amazon, Ford, Cox and Fidelity investments, Rivian's appeal and support has broadened notably.

So, to answer my own question, I'd rather have Rivian split its charger network between adventure sites and high density travel sites. Yes, there will be some redundancy with other chargers on high density routes, but it would be wise for Rivian to broaden its marketing and PR pitch, as BEV trucks become mainstream.

Even as Rivian recasts itself as more mainstream, it doesn't have to lose its on-road/off-road performance capabilities. Recall that under Mitsubishi, the Normal plant produced 250K vehicles per year. Given the different size and complexity of Rivians, and assuming Normal produces 200K vehicles per year, that's a lot to sell.

My point being Rivian should broaden its appeal and marketing, to something like "performance, comfort and utility forever".
 

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I would rather see them partner with existing charging networks for highway and in town coverage to provide seamless integration with the vehicle and focus their charger build out on adventure/destination locations. I'm not sure it makes sense any more to go the Tesla route of building nationwide charging coverage exclusively for Rivian use.
 

Coast2Coast

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electruck, partnering certainly makes sense though it's often difficult to find reliable partners in a tech space that's evolving rapidly. But I take your point. One more thing, and a pretty big one, to nail down before the production lines start rolling.
 

ajdelange

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The way the DC fast charger network is growing I wonder how long until a car arrives where that is the only charging option.
It will never happen. Far and away the most popular method of charging is Level 2 at home. It accounts for 85% of charging. The current limit for Level 2, imposed by the manufacturers, appears to be 11.52 kW. There is absolutely no need to go faster than this demonstrated by the fact that Tesla has discontinued its faster options. The EVSE needed for 11.52 is simple, inexpensive and does not make undue demands on residential electrical systems.
 

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I think they need to strike a balance and look at the existing/planned high powered charging networks when considering their locations. It doesn't do much good to have charging at an "Adventure" location if you can't get there conveniently. I consider even 50 kW DCFC inconvenient for distance traveling (ask any Bolt owner) and L2 of any speed only works if parked somewhere overnight (including a Tesla Tap in the charge bag would be a nice touch)
 

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I would like them to split their charging network between highway and adventure destinations. I think it benefit their customers for the existing public networks to have some competition. With the range of their vehicles, they don't need very many stations to cover large areas. For example if they put a station along the 5 freeway in California (Kettleman) between the bay area and Los Angeles and a station along the 15 (Barstow), it would cover two of the most heavily traveled routes in California. (LA to Bay Area and LA & San Diego to Las Vegas). If I were Rivian, I would try to partner with a company like In-N-Out, they aren't nation wide, but they cover a significant part of the west and own all of their location. Coincidentally there is an In-N-Out in both Kettleman and Barstow.
 

ajdelange

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From a Rivian owner's POV, would you rather have Rivian exclusively target "adventure" sites for electrification, split the network between adventure & high density travel sites, or maximize charging stations at high density travel locations to the detriment of adventure sites?


There ain't that much adventure left in this old dog but as I see the value to Rivian as a marketing tool and their marketing theme is "adventure" that they would want to put the chargers in adventure places. The high density sites are apparently already or soon will be adequately served by others.

Yes, there will be some redundancy with other chargers on high density routes, but it would be wise for Rivian to broaden its marketing and PR pitch, as BEV trucks become mainstream.
So what would be the point? "Use any CCS charger to get you on the way and use our Rivian charging network when you arrive at any of 427 specailly selected adventure destinations" sounds better than "...any of 227" if you used 200 locations to duplicate what's already out there.

electruck, partnering certainly makes sense though it's often difficult to find reliable partners "
Partnering could indeed be a useful tool. When "Plug and Charge" (you drive up, plug in and the network identifies you, authorizes and enables charging and keeps track of the $ used without having to fiddle with credit cards, RFID cards etc... - Tesla has this now) becomes real the ability to do this will make the charging experience all the more pleasant. Another advantage to Rivian is that if they want to offer promotions such as 6 months free charging, 1000 miles free charging etc. (as Tesla does from time to time). The infrastructure to do this is built in. EA has deals with
Rivian is notably missing from the list.

Obviously Rivian's own chargers would have this capability. And while the Rivian station will be labeled Rivian in huge bold letters they should be open to anyone that can charge from CCS. This will help cover the capital costs and perhaps even turn a small profit from sales of electricity.
 

jacobh

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Olympic National Park would be nice too. While we’re at it: let’s hit Glacier and Teddy Roosevelt parks also. Driving northern U.S. is a bit rough for EVs right now.
Olympic National Park would be an incredible location!
Tofino, BC Canada may be another one considering its where Rivian did some filming and photo shoots not long ago.
 

jacobh

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Nissan recently announced that they will be using CCS on all new EVs.
Looks like CCS will be the new charging standard with the exception of Tesla.
So the good news is there will be plenty of places for Rivan trucks to charge outside of Rivian's Adventure Network!
 

ajdelange

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It's been accepted for some time that CCS is the standard. Nissan's announcement is just one more nail in the CHAdeMO coffin lid but note that all the new EA stations seem to have at least one CHAdeMO hose. Those are clearly needed for the older cars out there (and we Tesla guys who can use them).
 

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Actually, just to clarify, each EA site has one charger with a CCS and Chademo hose. This is the case even where they have as many as ten chargers at one site, the other 9 stations have two CCS hoses. But for any station only one vehicle can be charged at a time.
 

azbill

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EA has just put up a new site (coming soon) in Williams Arizona, which is 60 miles south of the Grand Canyon National Park. I would like to see Rivian put something in Page Arizona to cover Lake Powell (also on the way to Moab), and in eastern Arizona, near Showlow. There is a lot of camping, hiking and snow skiing in the White Mountains there.
 

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