If You Build it . . .

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I have yet to see a single Rivian in my area – which isn’t surprising given Rivian has only delivered 20,332 of its electric truck/SUV appliances with the Edsel-esque face so far. And that ought not to be surprising, either, given that the least expensive of these battery-powered appliances stickers for $73,000 to start (no extra charge for the serial glitches being reported by the handful of people who’ve bought one so far).

Rivian is not likely to ever sell more than a small handful of these devices – because there’s only a small handful of people who have the means to buy a $73,000 vehicle, battery-powered or not.

But Rivian wants to sell you something else – and we’ve already bought it.

It’s called the Rivian Adventure Network. Which is a network of DC “fast” chargers paid for by you and me and everyone else forced to pay the taxes that finance such things, under the rubric of the Biden Thing’s Inflation Reduction Act. A thing that has as much to do with reducing inflation as the “Federal” Reserve has to do with the coining of honest money.

A new one just opened up in my area, where Rivians are as scarce as snow in Death Valley. But never mind that. The assumption appears to be (per the Kevin Costner movie, Field of Dreams) that if you build it, they will come. Except that was about baseball, something most everyone likes.

The IRA spigoted money – $7.5 billion – toward “infrastructure”  . . . but not in the usual sense. As in bridges and roads. Instead (as in the “vaccine” sense) it was spigoted to electric grift operations such as Rivian, which used some of it (pocketing much of it) to build “fast” chargers, at which people wait to instill high-voltage DC electricity into their depleted EVs.

Rivian’s Adventure Network (like so much of modern verbiage, the term is the opposite of the actuality, unless you consider it “adventuresome” to hang out at shopping center parking lots for half an hour waiting for your EV to be usable again) is like the Tesla Supercharger network in that both can be used by other-brand EVs, which is a good thing in the case of Rivian as there are almost no Rivan EVs on the road.

Those six Rivian chargers recently installed outside the Earth Fare store in Roanoke, VA for instance would otherwise stand lonesome, like mile markers along a road no one uses. Because there are probably fewer Rivians in the Roanoke area than there are Rivian-brand chargers.

The math regarding all of this is interesting.

It costs about what a single Rivian lists for to install a single “fast” charger capable of spigoting high-voltage DC power into the EV’s battery. This latter is what makes “fast” charging possible, by the way – though it’s only “fast” relative to how long it take to charge an EV battery using more readily available AC current, which is what you’ve got at home.

This does not factor in the cost of the necessary cabling and the installation of transformers – those are the big box-looking things you see close by the “pumps” – nor the cost applied to the grid and so, to us (more about that in a moment).

Probably the cost to build out six “fast” chargers approaches half a million bucks. And someone’s got to pay for all of that. More finely put, it’s hard to make it pay – without making people pay.

It’s doubtful any “fast” chargers would be built if those who built them had to rely on honest profits (rather than grift) to pay for them. Gas stations never required grift because they paid – for themselves, plus a profit. It’s why they got built without government “investment” – the latter in air-fingers quote marks to reflect the abuse of language in that the actuality is (once again) something entirely opposite, as an investment is that which does not lose money.

Which is why buying a new car isn’t an investment, by the way.

The malinvestment (and grift) compounds, too.

This pushing of EVs – which suck more power than a V8 SUV does gas – will result in more demand for electricity, which in turn will cause electrical utilities to demand more money, which they are already doing. Just wait and see what they do soon. It is probable that the average homeowner’s utility bill will go up by twice or more within a couple of years from now, whether there’s an EV sucking power from an outlet in the garage or not. Because there will be EVs sucking power from the grid – and someone’s going to have to pay for that.

Rivian seems to have clued in. They’ve  only made a handful of battery-powered devices and have (like everyone else selling them) lost money on each one. But that doesn’t mean there’s not gold in them thar hills. Or rather, at those “pumps.”

Cue up – and pay up.

Joe will send you the bill.

. . .

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39 COMMENTS

  1. the Rivian my in-laws’ neighbor has seems to depart regularly on a flatbed to the nearest dealer (~100 miles away) for fixin’ its various “issues”

    said “issues” usually render it inoperable…

  2. Why are these appliances allowed on our roads? They don’t pay a nickel in the cost. Here, in the People’s Republic of CA, I’m paying about $15 per tank of gas for road tax.

  3. Plenty rivians around her (Seattle) area….most of the drivers wear no logo diapers on their faces…I’m usually busy gardening by the solr panels…

  4. The Rivian “Adventure” is the drive of about 200 miles in one of those “vehicles” using up the charge in the battery to find one of those shiny new charging stations. And it will mostly be confined to urban roads.

    Those government wordsmiths are going to have to justify their jobs if they think the spend on these chargers is an “investment”. It would be an investment if they were participating directly in the earnings from these things, rather than indirectly in the form of taxes they assess on the people to pay for them. I know they starting misusing the word during the 0bama regime, but Truth in Labeling (should) require they refrain from its use for the future (and the present). I would prefer they dump all this fakery into Lake Whattalottahooey before they bankrupt us all.

  5. About a year ago, I was walking around the complex (in a small town in Mi) and saw this strange vehicle parked all by its lonesome. It turned out to be a rivian, which I had never heard of. It was a sharp looking thing, a half pickup/car, I think. I got back to my computer and looked it up…sure enough it was an EV on the pricey side.

    With the EPA planning to turn off the power grid by 2030, to save us all from deadly global warming they say, if you take out a loan and buy a rivvy now, you could have it paid off in time for the grid to be shut off…makes (liberal) sense. You couldn’t drive it no more, but you could wrap it in plastic and bury it for some future generation to discover as a relic or fossil. Rivisaurus?

    But hey, having an EV is better than trying to drive a toaster around town. It just costs a little bit more…but keep that toaster hidden because the greenie weenies are out to get those too.

  6. Hence the war for securing oil supplies is worth dying for? If oil cannot be secured then we have to go back to the lifestyle of around the year 1800 and by extension the much lower population that comes with subsistence farming.

    • Hi Gil,

      But there is no need to “secure oil supplies” as there is an ample supply for our domestic needs right here. Whatever one might think about Orange Man, the fact is that before he was replaced by the current cretin, America was on the cusp of becoming a net exporter of oil and the cost of a gallon of gas was just over $2.

  7. I think there might be someone who lives in my part of Las Vegas who has a Rivian pickup that I’ve seen a few times. I’ve also come across a small handful of the Amazon delivery vans that they build (though those are far outnumbered by Ford Transits and Ram ProMasters).

  8. Eric,

    I’ve seen one or two Rivians here. OTOH, I’ve seen a ton of Teslas; in fact, there’s a white Model 3 I see downtown all the time.

  9. Saw one a few weeks ago as it approached/passed me on the other side of the road. Spent a couple minutes wondering “wtf was that?” There are a fair number of Teslas around here but so far that’s the only Rivian I’ve seen.
    Can’t wait to see the EeeeeVeeee grift come crashing down. Picture any major city at rush hour with four lane highways packed with traffic as far as the eye can see; now imagine all those cars plugging into the grid on a hot summer day…..lights out.

  10. I’ve seen one or two (maybe the same one twice) crusing upvalley on highway 82 near Aspen. So they do exist. But there’s no Rivan specific charging stations to be found. In fact there are very few charging stations in downtown Aspen, except those installed by the city, in city parking lots. They look like the type of charger you would put in your house, certainly nothing like the Tesla supercharger locations or even the chargers featured in your e-vehicle reviews.

    Why is that? Well, because fast chargers tie up a lot of land. There’s all the switchgear, transformers and rectifier banks. Then there’s the pedestals. And a large area for maneuvering around vehicles that are charging. If you put them in the grocery store’s parking lot, that’s going to take away already limited parking (which is regulated by building codes) too. Land’s expensive in Aspen. More expensive than most cities for sure. And it comes with a lot of strings attached. A brightly lit charging station, with colorful pedestals and people milling about at all hours, wouldn’t go over too well in a town that vaules its “charm.” It would stick out like a sore thumb. Doesn’t matter how green it is, someone (probably the someone pushing the green agenda) will complain and the city will force them to adapt their charging station to Aspen, which will probably screw up any profit they’d hope to eek out of the now one-off solution.

    Not only that, but it is highly likely the power company would have to tear up the street and sidewalk to run the high voltage cables to the pad. I happen to know that if you tear up one of Aspen’s fine thoroughfares, you can’t just patch the trench, you have to restore it back to how it looked prior (basically pave the whole street), and lord help you if you happen to kill a tree. So that means directional drilling, and all that entails.

    But hey as long as you go green, ‘eh?

  11. The only thing the entire “net zero” fraud can possibly accomplish is to make us all poor and miserable. Except for those pushing it. Those pulling it, as in those buying EVs, either have lots of disposable income, or are utter morons.
    Wind and Solar, which are NOT capable of producing the on demand power needed, are consuming enormous amounts of copper, which would be far better used in other applications, sending copper prices through the roof. There is not enough lithium in the world to create the required energy storage needed. Nor is there credible battery tech improvement on the drawing board to change that.
    The fly in their ointment is that the very “industry” and tech they promote is wholly dependent upon hydrocarbons to make it work. Especially diesel, without which agriculture, mining and shipping come to a screeching halt. They demand us use a system that requires enormous increase in generating and grid capacity, while at the same time reducing that capacity by closing coal and natural gas power plants and replacing them with unicorn farts and fairy pixie dust wind and solar “farms” that won’t keep up.
    The Psychopaths In Charge, with their vastly exaggerated opinion of themselves, are completely convinced they can change reality at their whim. “Make it so”, “So let it be written, so let it be done”.
    Consequences be damned.

  12. That Rivian looks like something an 8 year old cobbled together from 2 different Lego kits.

    One more thing about these “fast” chargers is the energy loss in converting AC to DC power, which is significant, as anyone who has touched their laptop or phone charger when it is pumping juice into the device can attest.

    • Hi David,

      Ferrari understands that an electric Ferrari isn’t a Ferrari. It’s just another device – and the market needs another of the latter like America needs more “migrants.”

  13. I’ve seen a Rivian pickup or two in my neck of Eastern NC. Yet, for every one of them, I see 10 Toyota FJ Cruisers, which Toyota stopped selling in the US around 10 years ago.

  14. I’ve never seen one here either. But I did see a DeLorean in Front Royal over the weekend. Not running but parked in front of a repair garage. I’d take the DeLorean over the battery operated toaster junk any day of the week.

    • Hi Allen,

      There’s a DeLorean on display at the Duncan Auto Museum near me in Christiansburg, VA. The car’s styling still looks great 40 years later. I’d aslso take it over the nondescript extruded plastic blobs powered by batteries as well.

    • An EV will be useless as a collector piece since the battery deteriorates just sitting “on the shelf”.

      The analogy would be a gas vehicle where the gas tank rusts/shrinks over the course of 7-8 years and a replacement tank will not be available when the capacity reaches less than a gallon.

    • Hi SLH,

      EVs are inherently short-lived vehicles, on top of not being zero emissions vehicles. Use results in inevitable deterioration of the battery over time; of course this happens to a non-EV’s mechanical systems, too. But the difference is that with the latter, it’s usually worth fixing while with the former, it’s not – due to the replacement cost of the battery vs. the depreciated value of the vehicle.

      Of course, this is a feature – not a bug – as what they want is to get people to make payments perpetually. To never just own (debt free) a car.

  15. I expect it to fail, like the epic fails of all epic fails, the mother of epic fails. The USGov is 32 trillion in debt and currently under a debt ceiling. Tick tock, tick tock, goes the countdown clock to default – which will send interest rates screaming higher – causing the interest on the debt – which is already spiking to spike more. The housing market will hit a brick wall – higher interest rates – typically 2% above the 10 year Treasury will soar past 8% – which will force home prices down a notch – which will make even more banks insolvent.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the carefree attitude to buy Teslas comes from highly inflated home values – creating a giddy false demand – for a untested new fangled contraptions.

    And while this Biden dumpster fire causes world wide repercussions, they will be forced to cut subsidies for EVs to save their own sorry damn asses – and that will cause the EV startups to face an existential crisis – and no doubt a huge shakeout as the auto market is realigned with reality. And a shakeout in auto mfg is no uncommon thing, in fact this Wikipedia list of defunct auto companies will shock you!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_automobile_manufacturers_of_the_United_States

    Obama was quoted as saying everything Joe touches he f-cks up. Biden is like a huge wrecking ball – and I say there is a good chance he is going to permanently damage the AA+ credit rating of the US Treasuries – which will force borrowing costs to rise, lowering the credit rating in a vicious circle until everyone admits the USGov is a basket case banana republik.

    In the next twenty years we could easily see interest rates above 50% like in any other bankrupt socialist nation. I say the auto industry is bigger than big government – they can not force it to go the wrong way forever.

  16. I won a EV debate, actually two, but one was a Rivian. A good friends son, who’s pretty well off considering his age, told me he was going to buy a Rivian. I was able to talk him out of it.
    Smart young man.
    It’s sad though that way more people buy them than ask or read Eric or his pupils.

  17. I wish the FedGov was doing this because it’s stupid, instead of being out right psychopaths. Sadistic, Satanic psychopaths. They’re having fun. They love hurting people. Rs and Ds.

  18. I’ve seen just one Rivian in my area of Connecticut. Interestingly, it was towing an open trailer with landscaping equipment on it including a riding mower. Must have been doing only local mowing jobs as we all know electric trucks can’t tow very far.

  19. That has got to be the ugliest most useless thing I have ever seen. But ugly and useless seems pretty common today. Hard to tell the make and model of all these ugly cars. Rivian is different in that it’s so ugly one can spot it a mile away. So there’s that.

    Only the wealthy and stupid will buy such junk mostly to show off their virtuousness of saving the planet from the climate change scam much like the wearing of masks to save grandma from a nonexistent virus.

    What we have here, is a failure of cognizance in a Strouther Martin voice.

    Look at the shoes you’re filling
    Look at the blood we’re spilling
    Look at the world we’re killing
    The way we’ve always done before
    Look in the doubt we’ve wallowed
    Look at the leaders we’ve followed
    Look at the lies we’ve swallowed
    And I don’t wanna hear no more

    Guns and Roses.

  20. Not sure that I’ve seen one; then again never thought to look. The EV grift is the very definition of ‘self-licking ice cream cone’.

  21. There are a huge number of Rivians, both the truck and SUV variant, in the area that I live, which is a wealthy city in the SF Bay Area. They’re replacing Land Rovers, G-Wagens, and that sort of vehicle among the local owners.

    It’s kinda funny, but where I live, I see Rivians, McLarens, and even Lamborghini and Ferrari SUV’s dropping kids off at the public school across the street.

  22. Lots of Rivians in the chicago area rich suburbs.
    I like the look, it has a style that looks like a steam car smashed into a grand wagoneer. Its a shame they are only electric.
    I’m waiting to see someone do a LS swap in one.

  23. ‘a single “fast” charger capable of spigoting high-voltage three phase DC power into the EV’s battery’ — eric

    ‘DC’ –> ‘AC’

    480-volt, 3-phase AC power (not typically available in homes) is rectified to DC (constant voltage) at “fast” charging stations.

    https://eepower.com/technical-articles/introduction-to-480v-3-phase-power/#

    Whereas the typical line drop into a residence is 240-volt, single phase: two 120-volt lines (versus the neutral conductor) of opposite polarity. At the main panel, these can feed both 240-volt and 120-volt circuits inside the house.

    Eric’s larger point remains: the IRA recklessly subsidizes, at our expense, building out infrastructure for demand that may never materialize. This kind of brain-dead central planning suicided the Soviet Union in 1991. Now Bolshevik DemonRats are demolishing the USA, using their same old subversive communist technique.

    One (1) Rivian — a white one — exists in my remote mountain town. I don’t give the guy the finger, because we are polite and tolerant of deluded eccentrics in these parts. 🙂

    • >One (1) Rivian — a white one — exists in my remote mountain town.
      Maybe driven by John Frum, eh?
      I wish your town good cargo. 🙂

  24. I’ve never seen a Rivian outside of pictures on Demuro’s “Cars and Bids” site. That’s where they’re being auctioned off for stupid money. Imagine the kind of real truck one could buy with $90K plus! Pretty sure (IIRC), the auctions have gone into 6-digit territory.

    Brings up another thing. I’ve seen that sites like “Cars and Bids” have been moving into the censorship business to different degrees. I forget the various examples but there are certain things they don’t let you say at all and then people can flag comments over anything really.

  25. I see a Rivian truck/appliance regularly at the H-Mart in North Austin. That vehicle is the *only* one I’ve seen.

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