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Amazon and GM may help fund an electric pickup truck by Rivian

By Greg S ยท 5 replies
Feb 13, 2019
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  1. Tesla is still the household name for electric vehicles, but competition is on the horizon. In the United States, SUVs and pickup trucks are quite popular options, but neither are available at affordable prices with fully electric drive trains. Rivian Automotive is aiming to produce both a pickup truck and SUV and may do so with the help of Amazon and General Motors as investors.

    Having grown from around 100 employees in 2016 to more than 600 staff members as of today, investors have to at least give Rivian more than a quick glance. Under a potential deal, Amazon and GM would take minority positions in Rivian. GM declined to discuss any hint of a deal being reached but stated, "we admire Rivian's contribution to a future of zero emissions and an all-electric future."

    Rivian's goal is to begin selling the R1T pickup truck during the fall of 2020. As a unique feature, all of the drive components, batteries, brakes, cooling, and majority of the suspension system fall below the height of the wheels. A very low center of gravity on a truck creates stability and also has the benefit of offering up more storage space above.

    Unlike rival automakers, Rivian is not trying to develop its own self-driving technology. Instead, partners will be brought in to help add greater driver assistance features and eventually full autonomy options.

    GM is not expected to have its own fully electric car until 2022 when a Cadillac model based on the BEV3 platform is released. As far as trucks go, GM does not yet have known plans. CEO Mary Barra admits that a "tiny bit" of thought has gone into electric pickups, but not much beyond that.

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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 4,135   +1,218

    Greg, thanks for the article. I may be in the market. Or, maybe not.

    Electric powered vehicles. Hey, that's great isn't it? But where's the rest of the story? How is the electricity produced (I.e., hydro, solar, wind or is it bunker 2 and bituminous coal - with nuclear and its waste somewhere in between)? What are the transmission losses? Do we need linked micro-grid approach with flow batteries managing storage to be clean/efficient? Or, some other smarter/better?

    So I would say my priority is to know....is it clean?....is it efficient? An EV pickup may not be the right focus - especially if powered by generation 1,000 miles away based on current coal burning tech.
     
  3. Rock Dirty

    Rock Dirty TS Rookie Posts: 19   +10

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, bla, bla, bla.

    You're right let's just go on burning up dead dinosaurs. We don't need ANYTHING electric because it might not be "pure" electric. So let's just light the whole eff'ing planet up.

    Why not?

    /s

    You know good and eff'ing well that this thing will be powered by whatever electric source is available to it. Your disingenuous whataboutism is really pathetic.
     
    MarkHughes likes this.
  4. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 4,135   +1,218

    "You know good and eff'ing well that this thing will be powered by whatever electric source is available to it."

    Dear Mr. Dirty, I honestly think there is a matter of choice here. If we have a grid which is limited in its 'green' capacity, it may be wise to drive a small internal combustion engine vehicle. My neighbor may have 36 solar panels and a couple of Redflow batteries in a micro-grid which would inspire his choice of an EV.

    Hearing about various models of EVs to 'save the planet', I still wonder. So I will stick with the thoughts I previously expressed.

    Have a nice day.
     
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,198   +2,481

    One of the questions that no one typically asks is "What is the end-to-end loss and pollution from using gasoline?" At literally every stage from gasoline's first steps as oil being pumped from the ground, to refining, transportation to market, and finally, use in IC engines, it pollutes every step of the way.

    Here's an interesting article that seems as if it is well-researched. https://www.vancouverobserver.com/b...ess-climate-pollution-gasoline-cars-take-look
    It states that only in the worst case where the source of electricity is the dirtiest, that the pollution from an EV is about the same as that from an ICE powered vehicle. In all other cases, EVs are cleaner.

    Note, however, that even the above article does not cover the pollution from pumping oil from the ground, refining, and transportation of the resulting gasoline to market. Transportation to market is one area where electricity has very little loss compared to gasoline.

    Hopefully, this helps you with your choice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  6. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 4,135   +1,218

    @wiyosaya
    Very nice article. I continue to be impressed by Canadian plain speaking and thought. Happily, it does, in fact, include the full cycle for gasoline ("My chart uses the "wells-to-wheels" emissions for gasoline. According to the US Department of Energy this adds an extra 24 percent." ). I am uncertain if the burden from electrical transmission losses is also included as I did not see a specific declaration of that element (as I recall estimates of 20% to 40% depending on grid).

    Thank you, I think. I'll have to reconsider my ownership and use of a 1992 Volvo (about 1,500 miles per year).
     

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