Rivian is an American automotive startup and yes it plans to manufacture large pickup trucks that can pull boats and trailers and go across the rugged landscape of the USA. So what’s different? Well the Rivian’s will not belch black smoke and be kind to mother earth. They shall be driven by electric motors drinking electrons from a battery pack placed low inside the truck.
The company aims to be a major competitor to Tesla, what with so many comparo videos flooding the internet comparing the Rivian R1T to the Tesla Cybertruck. Electric propulsion has given designers a lot of flexibility and allowed them to think way beyond what a normal vehicle does. So an interesting feature of the Rivian R1T is that it can make a 180 degree turn on the spot without moving ahead or back. This is a feat achieved by tracked vehicles like tanks, but not wheeled vehicles. Why?
Well a tank has two tracks which can be controlled independently. As a result, we can have a track moving forward and the second one moving back, thus allowing the tank to turn around its axis. This is not possible in wheeled vehicles with conventional propulsion because they have all the wheels moving in the same direction, either ahead or in reverse.
The Rivian is powered by four electric motors, one at each wheel with now mechanical connection between them. As a result, the Rivian can have two wheels on one side moving ahead while the wheels on the opposite side move in reverse. Voila, the car turns around on the spot. What an advantage this can be in an offroad track? You can watch this video here.
For outdoor camping, Rivian also developed a clever portable kitchen that fits into the wide storage compartment integrated into the space right above the truck’s chassis. The kitchen slides out to reveal drawers for pots, pans, and other utensils, a small countertop, and an electric stove that draws electricity from the battery pack. How smart is that?