bajadahl

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Nice article... I especially like the part where they discuss workers returning to the plant on Monday! It's a small step towards re-opening... but I also want them all to stay safe... don't rush it... but am looking forward to the build out resuming safely!
 

Pherdnut

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50 employees? Sounds like safety prep before bringing more people back.
 

DucRider

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50 employees? Sounds like safety prep before bringing more people back.
Around 50 employees serving in construction supervision, basic maintenance, and central engineering will come back to the plant, a spokesperson said. Only around 10 to 15 employees had been at the plant over the past six weeks. (All company employees are still being paid regardless of their location.)

Rivian said it “needed time to prepare and build our supply of safety and cleaning equipment.”

“We have already contacted all of those returning employees and have emphasized that safety and comfortability are our top priorities. If anyone feels uncomfortable, they are not required to be on site,” the company said.

https://www.wglt.org/post/neighborly-nod-rivian-decline-1-million-grant-town#stream/0
 

Coast2Coast

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Along with others, I applaud Rivian's decline of a $1 million grant and tax break for 2019 from Normal, Illinois.

We live in extraordinary times with pandemic illnesses and deaths climbing and businesses downsized, shuttered or in exceedingly difficult situations. To Rivian's credit, it has responded by refusing local government funds that might better be used otherwise, by paying everyone whether they're working or not, by keeping a skeleton crew working in Normal and adding 50-60 workers to the crew this week, by doing a lot of testing and engineering remotely, by sharing data, information and ideas online, and by doing a host of activities of which we're unaware.

Kudos to Rivian. Supporting local communities in this time of crisis is exactly the right course of action.

There's a correspondence in stages of technology development and levels of consumer adoption of new technology products. As new tech develops, unit costs fall and wider standardization appears. That translates into a greater public willingness to buy new technology products. Market acceptance is a stronger force than technology development. Really good products won't sell unless the market is ready for them.

Maybe government support of the much larger ICE segment of the auto industry is as it should be in times of national emergency, but it could have serious effects on the emergence of BEVs as alternatives to ICE vehicles. Why? Market acceptance trumps technology development. BEV technology already performs well, but BEV costs are still high. Government policies affect costs in numerous ways.

4-5 categories of government policies affect BEVs. Tax credits and subsidies to consumers. Tax credits and subsidies to vehicle producers. Tax credits and subsidies to battery producers. Tax credits and subsidies to component suppliers, other than batteries. Tax credits and subsidies to charging station providers. In short, from battery suppliers, to component suppliers, to vehicle producers/assemblers, to charging station providers, to consumers - there's a lot of interconnected parts, and lots of ways government policies make a difference.

Will BEV credits and subsidies be squeezed out by government policies designed to help ICE producers and promote ICE vehicle sales? Rivian is well funded, and it can afford to decline Normal's $1 million in tax breaks, but most BEV startups are not nearly as well funded as Rivian. Here's a Bloomberg article about the effects of the pandemic on the U.S. auto industry. Only 4,300 vehicles were produced in the entire country in April, the lowest since WWII.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/stor...-restarting-after-covid-now-what?srnd=premium

Should Rivian do anything differently? I'm not fond of Rivian using its war chest to lobby in Washington or at the state level but, as we saw in Colorado, effective advocacy in favor of BEVs can make a major difference. Enlisting federal, state and local government support in promoting Rivian and the BEV industry is hugely important.
 
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