Charles Sanderson is one of the reasons why many people claimed Rivian’s R1-series vehicles will handle like supercars. One thing that Sanderson championed during his tenure at the American EV maker is the suspension system which replaced the mechanical anti-roll bar with an electro-hydraulic roll control system. Anti-roll (or anti-sway) bars are used to make the car feel more leveled during sharp turns. But Rivian’s sophisticated system allowed for more body control on-road and off-road without needing this part.
So, the R1T was touted by many as handling like a McLaren 720S even though it weighs almost 7,000 lb (3,175 kg). That is an impressive feat for a pickup truck, especially for one that is completely electric and must deal with a heavy battery pack. Managing the weight shift in tight scenarios is paramount for vehicles that are presented as being the next best thing, so the implementation of the Tenneco hydraulic damper at Rivian was a success for both the automaker and Sanderson as a professional.
The man has also been heard on multiple occasions talking fondly of the R1T and R1S. He liked Rivian’s CEO’s vision of making a pickup truck that will rival even the best of what legacy automakers have currently on sale. But he went even further than that by setting the ambition to build a vehicle that can beat all the other benchmarks set by other similar units (or not!) as a top priority. Given Rivian’s current reputation and demand, one could argue that…
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Rivian’s chief engineer has gone back to building British supercars, GM’s CEO is making a case for robotaxis in Washington, and things are getting desperate for Volkswagen in China. All that and more in this edition of The Morning Shift for Friday, March 17, 2023.
1st Gear: Back to Mac
The chief engineer Rivian poached from McLaren in 2018 has returned to Woking. Charles Sanderson will serve as chief technical officer at McLaren, after previously spearheading software at the British supercar maker. From Automotive News:
“Mr. Sanderson will now spearhead McLaren Automotive’s new technology roadmap and product innovation strategy,” McLaren said. Sanderson’s previous role at McLaren was head of software development.
Rivian said Sanderson had chosen to return to McLaren.
A Rivian spokesperson said Sanderson was part of the product development team reporting to Nick Kalayjian, chief product development officer, who has a strong leadership team and deep bench of talent.
According to his LinkedIn page, Sanderson started with Rivian in June 2018 as vice president of vehicle integration and development, a role he held for 15 months before moving to the chief engineer job in August 2019.
Sanderson’s exit marks the latest in a string of executive departures from Rivian, which has faced challenges in ramping up production of its R1T electric pickup and R1S electric SUV. The startup fell just short of its 25,000-vehicle production target last year, and many analysts found its…
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Over the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to drive a large majority of the new cars on sale, from hot hatchbacks and family SUVs to ultraluxury sedans and supercars. I love getting to experience the amazing variety in the automotive industry, especially as the world is reaching a tipping point in terms of electrification. Recently, while spending a week with the 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE, I solidified my thoughts on something that’s been brewing in my brain for a while: I don’t want to drive gas-powered cars anymore. In nearly every new car internal-combustion car I’ve driven over the past couple years, I’ve come away thinking, “damn, that would just be better as an EV.”
The outgoing Mercedes-AMG E63, the EQE’s closest ICE equivalent, was a hilarious car. It was rowdy and fun to drive while still being an excellent luxury car with all the best modern tech features. Obviously I love AMG’s twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, one of the most giggle-inducing engines on the market. I’ll be sad when the AMG V8 dies — it’s true that EVs can’t match the visceral drama of a loud, powerful engine. But for all the old-school character you lose when the gas engine goes away, Mercedes has introduced plenty of new, interesting drama with its AMG-specific EV powertrain.
Of course the AMG EQE has mega straight-line performance; that’s a given for an EV. Its 677 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque result in a 0-to-60-mph time of 3.2 seconds, on the quicker…
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So, let’s try to break down how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle in California.
How we calculated cost
It is difficult to pinpoint one figure that will apply to every EV driver. Even within a single state, there’s variables – such as mileage driven, the type of vehicle and battery, plus the type of charger as well as if the car owner is opting to fuel up at a public station versus installing a personal home charging point.
But the general formula for calculating how much charging an electric car will cost is pretty simple: divide your car’s maximum range by its range per kWh, then multiply it by the average cost of electricity per kWh.
That figure, range per kWh, is an estimate that can vary greatly depending on vehicle and also driving factors. More intense driving, say, uphill in the wind, would lower your overall range per kWh since the car needs more power.
Regardless of driving conditions, though, you’re always likely to pay more to charge an EV in California than other parts of the country.
Electric car manufacturer Rivian is voluntarily recalling 12,212 vehicles over concerns of a possible loose fastener, or nut, that could cause serious problems like excessive wheel tilt, and in rare cases, wheel separation that could lead to major loss of steering control.
In a letter to customers on Friday, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe told them the company planned to recall cars over this issue, which it became aware of on Sept. 28. While Scaringe explained that the problem only affected “a small percentage of vehicles,” and that the company had so far only seen seven reports “potentially related” to the loose fastener, it was issuing the recall out of an abundance of caution.
A Rivian spokesperson on Saturday told Gizmodo that the company will make any necessary adjustments to customers with affected vehicles free of charge at its service centers. To date, Rivian is not aware of any injuries that have resulted from this issue.
“We will begin immediately contacting affected customers to schedule appointments for inspections and repairs if needed,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “The repair takes a few minutes to complete, and with customer collaboration, we have built out the capacity to complete the needed action in as little as 30 days.”