Update: Rivian got back to us with the following reply regarding the Max Pack battery:

"Instead of adding more cells or modules to an existing battery pack, which would add more mass, our engineers developed a proprietary battery management system that optimizes and increases the usable battery energy from a new version of our 2170 battery cell with advanced chemistry that allows for both higher energy density and higher absolute energy. The total installed capacity for Max Pack is 149kWh."

The original article continues below.

After several delays, Rivian is finally putting its biggest-ever battery pack – the Max Pack – into production, with the R1T pickup already being delivered to customers, and the R1S SUV expected to follow suit later this fall. And now we learn that this battery actually quite a bit smaller than we expected, even if the resulting range is very impressive. 

When it was first announced some time ago, the Max Pack was touted as having a gross capacity of 180 kWh. But the version that’s currently being fitted to customer vehicles has a gross capacity of 149 kWh. By comparison, the next size down, the Large Pack, has 135 kWh, while the Standard Pack offers 105 kWh. (Those are quite large as far as batteries go, but still dwarfed by some giants like the GMC Hummer EV's 212 kWh battery.) 

The Max Pack battery enables an estimated driving range of 400 miles for the R1S equipped with the dual-motor powertrain, making it the longest-range seven-seat electric SUV in the United States, while the R1T can go up to 410 miles with the same power source, according to Rivian.

Gallery: 2022 Rivian R1S First Drive

Furthermore, the range difference between a dual-motor R1S with the Max Pack battery and one with the Large Pack is 48 miles; 400 miles for the Max Pack and 352 miles for the Large Pack. 

Those are impressive numbers, but the price increase over the middle-tier Large pack – $10,000 – might make some prospective buyers wonder if the record-setting battery is worth the extra cash, considering it offers just 14 kilowatt-hours more, as Rivian told Car and Driver. We reached out to the California-based EV startup for additional information and will update this article when we hear back.

The cheapest Rivian R1S costs $78,000 and comes with a dual-motor all-wheel drive setup that delivers 533 horsepower and enables a 0 to 60 miles per hour sprint in 4.5 seconds, while the Standard Pack battery can provide enough juice for up to 260 miles.

The next battery – the Large Pack – costs an additional $6,000 and increases the range estimate to 352 miles, while the Max Pack is a $16,000 option over the base model and is only available in conjunction with one of the two dual-motor powertrains – standard or Performance – with the latter adding another $5,000 to the final price, money that brings more power (665 hp) and a quicker 0 to 60 mph time of 3.5 seconds.

With all this being said, what do you think: is Rivian’s Max Pack battery worth it? Let us know if you'd go for it or not. 

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