Pickup trucks are so connected to towing that all the ones that will use a battery pack instead of a fuel tank need to prove they can deal with that. Rivian is well aware of that. So much so that it made the video above. It shows an R1T prototype undergoing hot weather testing with a trailer representing the electric pickup truck’s maximum towing capacity: 11,000 lb (around 5,000 kg).
The Rivian team of engineers and test drivers took the R1T though three main challenges: Davis Dam, Mount Charleston, and Death Valley, all with increasing difficulties to overcome. The goal was to check how well the battery management system would cope with up to 118ºF (47.8ºC).
According to what the engineers say in the video, the electric pickup truck behaved well under all circumstances. Being a promotion video made by Rivian, we doubt they would report any issues the R1T may have presented during towing anyway.
We also missed information on how far a full charge has taken the electric pickup truck, but we suspect it was not very far. If that were the case, Rivian would probably promote the impressive range the pickup truck achieved towing such a heavy trailer.
We have mentioned electric pickup trucks may face a hard time when it comes to towing. Apart from having short ranges due to the aerodynamic and weight penalties pulling anything implies, there is also the issue of where to charge with a trailer in the back.
Future charging stations will have to be prepared for these electric pickup trucks to charge without having to detach. Tesla will probably arrange chargers for the Cybertruck to do that when the time comes, but what about Rivian?
We heard that the R1T maker intends to create its own charging stations, but it will call it Rivian Adventure Network instead of Superchargers. The problem will be deploying enough of them to allow the owners to drive wherever they want. In that sense, Rivian should probably also partner with charging networks such as Electrify America, Charge Point, and EVGo to get them ready for electric pickup trucks towing stuff.
Another good idea would be if Rivian developed a trailer with a battery pack. That was James Klafehn’s idea with the T-Rex, and we know there are plenty of people wanting a T-Rex that they can buy. By developing it with the R1T and R1S, Rivian could make them compatible with its vehicles, something Klafehn had to solve on its own. Let’s wait to see which manufacturer will offer that in the future.