Rivian R1T EV Pickup Truck Range Exceeds 400 Miles: Here’s How

FEB 21 2019 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 52

Range of over 400 miles?

Yes, that’s right.

Rivian was holding back on a little range-extending secret for its R1T electric truck, but now we know what’s coming.

The electric pickup truck has a patented add-on battery that extends range beyond 400 miles. And here we thought 400 miles was already way more than enough.

Have a look at the patent image below. We’ve included the title and abstract too:

Electric Vehicle With Modular Removable Auxiliary Battery With Integrated Cooling

Abstract

An electric vehicle system for transporting human passengers or cargo includes an electric vehicle that includes a body, a plurality of wheels, a cargo area, an electric motor for propelling the electric vehicle, and a primary battery for providing electrical power to the electric motor for propelling the electric vehicle. An auxiliary battery module is attachable to the electric vehicle for providing electrical power to the electric motor via a first electrical connector at the auxiliary battery module and a second electrical connector at the electric vehicle that mates with the first electrical connector. The auxiliary battery module can be positioned in the cargo area while supplying power to the electric motor, and can be removable and reattachable from the electric vehicle. The auxiliary battery module includes an integrated cooling system for cooling itself during operation of the electric vehicle including a conduit therein for circulating coolant.

 

It seems the Rivian range-extending pack (officially called the Auxiliary Battery Module) bolts into the bed of the pickup truck and can be connected/activated when needed.

The idea is okay, but in reality, that battery is going to cost quite a bit and it surely won’t be light.

Rivian Forums adds:

The battery is removable and reattachable to the vehicle, supplying power to the electric motor by being positioned in the cargo area (i.e. the cargo bed of the R1T). Once attached, the vehicle can automatically detect the battery module and make necessary adjustments according to a set of multiple predetermined features sets that determine driving performance, suspension characteristics, braking performance/sensitivity, steering ratio, etc.

Here’s the initial spec sheet for the Rivian R1T. Note that the removeable battery pack would extend the range of all versions, but only the top-line R1T would exceed 400 miles with this added pack. By exactly how much though is still unknown:

 

Source: Rivian Forums

 

Categories: Rivian, Trucks

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52 Comments on "Rivian R1T EV Pickup Truck Range Exceeds 400 Miles: Here’s How"

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I’m just amazed that a patent can get issued for something as basic and trivial as a plug-in battery pack.

With “a plurality of wheels”, lol.

Right, so at least one can be safe from this patent in the production of supplemental batteries for electric unicycles.
😉

It is probably the self contained cooling system that makes it special. It shares coolant with the truck’s main battery.

That is a published patent application. Not granted yet. But then, trivial “inventions” do get granted at times.

I’ve been a patent examiner for over 16 years. You don’t get a patent for a concept. You get a patent for a specific invention that is non-obvious over what has gone before. Yes, there are plug-in battery packs already, for things like portable electric tools and electric lawn mowers. That’s not what the patents are for. The patents are for things like a more efficient or ergonomic design, better plug electrodes, better latching/unlatching mechanism, etc., etc., etc.

In this case, the novelty might have to do with the integration of the cooling mechanism, or the specific latching mechanism, or the control of the battery pack and/or how the control system integrates the pack with the rest of the vehicle’s controls (coolant, charging, regen, providing power to the traction motors, etc.).

There is a lot of potential here for patentable inventions. It all depends on what they claim and what’s been done before.

Do not have time to examine the patent, but hopefully, the extended it so that it can be an engine/generator or fuel cell, etc. IOW, it does not have to be just a battery.

What is interesting with patents is that so many ppl will have imagined these, but done nothing about it.
Or in other cases, ppl really do not think about it until they see it. Then, and only then, do they say: oh yeah, that is a good idea, that should work. In fact, waiting on a patent now, while working on kick-starter.

Great idea. If the aux battery can be rented and returned for long trips only, then the capital cost and weight are much less of an issue.

That would be a really interesting variation on battery swapping. Buy a vehicle with enough battery for 99% of your daily driving, and rent an add-on for the rare longer trips instead of renting a whole ICEV.

Or towing which will use a lot of energy

Interesting. This explains how that blockish truck gets 400 miles. Pretty smart of them, but it is a bit inefficient? Heavy, expensive, cumbersome.

I don’t think the 180kWh truck needs an auxiliary battery to reach 400 miles. This would be for significantly exceeding 400 miles.

you still get 400mile range in the high end model. this would be to get >400 mile range.

Many a offroader already adds an auxiliary fuel tank so why not?

Yup. An add-on battery module with a semi-independent cooling system (if it shares coolant with the main pack, then clearly it’s not entirely independent may be novel and may give Rivian more flexibility in different total battery capacity, but what such an option will not be is energy-efficient, small, or inexpensive.

However, let’s keep in mind this is just a patent application. These days, sadly, most patents don’t indicate anything a company actually intends on putting into production.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I’d be fine with the 135kWh pack ~WITH!~ the option to buy another DCFC onboard to be able to use a Tesla SC.
Say for about $700????

second DCFC is one thing but they’ll need to get licensing from Tesla to use SC. Tesla is going to make them pay $$$ for this. I really think Amazon should create another DCFC network based on CCS Combo. Get rid of all the RFID, credit card garbage… plug your car in, bill it straight to Amazon. Have Rivian create EV delivery vehicles for Amazon in exchange. Amazon can use DCFC for their own vehicles.

Also, if Amazon is thinking, they should build their own 2170 cell Gigafactory, cell some to Rivian and make grid tie batteries you can plug in to any outlet.

CCS is a better option at this point than the Supercharger standard. If Tesla could guarantee a rollout of V3 and access to the network, that would be one thing. But they can’t/won’t, so it’s a moot point.

and you base your whole post on ……. what? Nothing? Ok.

Tesla does not have to guarantee ANYTHING TO ANYBODY, except the owners.
And considering that they charge less than CCS does, I would say, that it is a good deal.

“CCS is a better option at this point than the Supercharger standard.”

Wut? It’s hard to imagine what yardstick anyone who is informed on the subject could use to reach that conclusion.

It’s a great concept. I bet one could slot at least 4 of those modules in there, though I suppose the 800KG payload caps that a bit. Luckily there is a 5000KG towing rating so I’m looking forward to Rivian patenting that 1 gWh battery trailer which should extend range by another 1500 miles or so.

Multiple packs? A trailer? Oh, please. Version 2.0 will have overhead electrical wires and big antenna-like things to make constant contact to power the truck. Now THAT’S innovation.

considering that they intend for this to go off-road, probably not on the antenna.

ROTFL!!

That’s perfect, thanks! Maybe Chris will also suggest adding a steam engine to charge the battery while traveling, to make the whole thing as Rube Goldberg as possible.

Since I have some respect for Rivian’s engineering, I’m confident they won’t offer anything as absurd and near-useless as a trailer used to pull an auxiliary battery pack behind the R1T.

Steam engine is preposterous! This car could easily tow a small nuclear reactor, now that would be the ultimate range extender!

hey, if done right, that would allow them to fuel it with trees.

Well they haven’t patented it yet but yes, I see the potential!

And what exactly would be the point?
You’d get a truck that has great range, but zero payload it can haul for that range.

I was just poking a bit of fun with Rivian’s bizarre patent but I don’t think everybody picked up on that;)

Whats the point? Optional battery pack, hooked up like a toolbox on the bed, for an additional 200 miles for less than 10k. Can still haul things if necessary

Great idea! Next logical step….sell trailers with a battery on board. Towing range could then be nearly the same as when unloaded.

There’s a reason no EV maker is doing that. It’s the same reason Rivian won’t, either.

Putting a large, expensive battery pack into a trailer, which will most likely rarely get used before the calendar life runs out on the battery pack, would be a waste of money and resources.

I wonder how they got a hold of that document, given that is is a provisional patent and those cannot be searched for online.

I was wrong, it is not provisional.

This patent is much too broad and probably not enforceable. Like when ChargePoint tried to patent networked charging.

All you see is the published, un-examined application. All the article cited was the abstract, which is not the enforcible portion of a patent, anyway. It all depends on what is claimed and whether any of the claims end up being allowable, in their current form or with future amendments.

most patent lawyers like the patent to go through at least once and being broader than what will pass. That way, they can cut it down on the corners and then barely get through. Sadly, lawyers love legal fights, as opposed to just simple approaches.

Sorry but I just don’t get it. Why is it so important to have such an extended range (400+ miles)? I get it if you are a long tripster but on most days 50-150 miles will more than do. Batteries and fast charging will improve making the need for extended range unnecessary and expensive.

Like I said, what do I know, I have been driving a Tesla Model S for over six years – daily and and on all trips. The other thing I don’t get is why not a large-flat auxillary battery to lie flat on the floor.

the battery would go in the bed, where the utility box would normally go, leaving room in the bed for supplies, esp. for going off-road with.

If the truck loses 40-50% of its range when towing or hauling a heavy load — and the range loss may be even more than 50% if towing a large trailer — then an EPA rating of 400 miles won’t at all be more than is needed.

The real kicker is hidden in the spec sheet: the 180kWh version has the same curb weight as the 105. We are talking infinite energy density here! At least for the additional 75…

Would like to know in towing mode how many miles we will get, with my Model X and our camper(2900lb) we only got 100 miles instead of 235 miles, like to see a tow test with a camper to see the the performance of the drive unit

considering how bad that is, you might want to consider streamlining your camper.

Seriously, if the range loss is that bad, then adding a “boat-tail” to the trailer might be well worth it.

http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Do_it_yourself_ecomodded_Toyota_Previa/

also, if the front of the trailer is flatish, then add a fish cone to the front of the trailer. Rather than go from top to bottom, it should be more like a piranha and go from right to left.

That will depend greatly on how much drag the trailer adds, as well as how much change in altitude the trip involves, and also the average speed. Unless a lot of uphill climbing is involved, the aero drag will make far more difference than the weight, especially if driving long distances at highway speed.

Kinda hard to sum up so many variables with a single figure.

Really? How do i get 200 miles on my model X while towing 3200 lbs? Something smells fishy

That’s not at all what he said.

Will it tow 3.5 tons

Granting a patent for an auxiliary battery is absurd…. We’ve all discussed this many times…Hell, I have several for different ďevices… Phone, tablet, guitar amp power tools . Great idea but not original. I’d luv a trailer with extended battery,

KENNY STEVEN Harrison

Yes i like it how much for it cars cost to much now you make cars we can buy