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Rivian confirms V2V charging, auxiliary batteries

CEO R.J. Scaringe opens up in interview with 'The Drive'

2021 Rivian R1S
2021 Rivian R1S / Image Credit: Drew Phillips
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We're excited to see what's coming down the pipeline from Rivian, specifically the launch of the R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV. We love what we've seen so far, including the range and performance figures Rivian is targeting. We like the way Rivian is thinking about how people will use its products, and the thought put into the camp kitchen shown at Overland West. Now, in an interview by The Drive with Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe, we've got some more tidbits about the upcoming EVs.

Among the nuggets of new information is confirmation that Rivians will be capable of vehicle-to-vehicle charging, and that there will be available auxiliary battery packs, both of which should help them get further off the grid than other EVs. Here's what Scaringe had to say on the matter:

"You're starting to get into the long tail of use cases, but even there we've designed the vehicle so you can have auxiliary battery packs. You can also charge Rivian-to-Rivian, which is a neat thing. You connect the two vehicles and then I could hand you some electrons. That takes us to the limit, and of course you can always find a corner of the world where it won't work, just like you can't find a gas station in Antarctica. You won't be able to find a plug in Antarctica, so there are natural limitations."

In the interview, Scaringe also talks about range, charging and battery chemistry, noting that regardless of the automaker, charging your car faster means degrading the life of the battery. Scaringe calls finding a new chemistry that enables faster charging "the holy grail," and says his company is instead focused on efficiencies. He points out that features like air curtains and other aerodynamic features help these boxy vehicles improve range.

Rivian R1T at Overland West
Rivian R1T at Overland West
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"People look at the Rivian and say it doesn't look very aerodynamic, but this is the most aerodynamic truck in the world," Scaringe told The Drive. "By far."

We'll be tuned in for more information from Rivian in the near future. That future seems promising, considering Amazon led an investment of $700 million in Rivian, while Ford recently invested another $500 million.

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