Rivian, a Michigan-based startup that could become the first automaker to bring an all-electric pickup truck to market, is patenting an interesting modular box system for its R1T electric pickup truck.
The company is working to bring its vehicles to market by the end of next year and in the meantime, we have been learning more about the accessories that they are working on based on some patent applications they have been filling.
Last month, we reported on Rivian patenting a “removable auxiliary battery” to add more range in its truck.
Now, we learn of Rivian applying for a patent called “Systems and Methods for reconfigurable electric vehicles”, which consist of a modular system for the R1T’s bed.
Rivian sees a need for an easily reversible system to configure the back of a pickup truck in different ways for multiple uses.
They believe that it could be especially useful for a shared vehicle program – hinting at offering its vehicles under such a scheme.
According to examples in the patent application, the system can turn the back into a regular flat bed, a cargo box utility module, a topper module, a recreational camper top module and the removable side rail module:
The Rivian Forum website created some really great renders to get an idea of what the R1T would look like with those configurations:
The installation involves a latching system combined with some sensors for the truck to be aware of its current configuration:
We took a closer look at Rivian’s R1T all-electric pickup truck, which is equipped with 4 electric motors, each a 147 kW power capacity at the wheel, while the total power output can be configured to different levels from 300 kW to 562 kW (input to gearbox).
The different power levels match different choices of battery packs, which are another impressive feature since they have the highest capacity of any other passenger electric vehicle out there: 105 kWh, 135 kWh, and 180 kWh.
Rivian says that it will translate to “230+ miles, 300+ miles, and 400+ miles” of range on a full charge.
They’re talking about a charge rate of up to 160 kW at fast-charging stations and an 11-kW onboard charger for level 2 charging.
The base model is expected to start at $69,000 before incentives and the company aims to start production in late 2020.
Last month, Rivian raised a $700 million round of funding led by Amazon to bring the truck to market next year.
I am happy with my reservation of the Rivian R1T. I feel fairly confident that it can be delivered within the next 2 years and I’m really liking this potential lineup of accessories.
If it can be installed somewhat easily, which it sounds like is the goal with the latching system, I can see some uses for two or three of those configurations.