This could be a game changer.
Rivian, one of the latest companies to enter the all-electric fray has been making big moves in recent months and is keeping the ball on the roll with the news that its online configurator is now live and functional. This gives potential customers the chance to spec out the Rivian R1T pickup truck, and the R1S SUV. Rivian has also announced a partnership with Pirelli to develop special tires for its range of EVs and has pushed back the first customer delivery dates to June 2021 and August 2021 for the R1T and R1S, respectively due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this setback, the company continues to push forward and has recently filed patents for a detachable battery pack.
According to the filing, Rivian is working on a backup battery pack that can be detached and charged separately from the main pack. According to the filing, the "auxiliary battery module can be positioned in the cargo area while supplying power to the electric motor, and can be removed and reattached." The detachable battery pack includes an integrated cooling system. The illustrations clearly show the battery pack slotting into the bed of the R1T pickup truck, and looks rather sizable. Spanning the width of the vehicle, this battery pack is molded to make accommodations for the wheel arches and features a plug-in point in the left lower section of the cab.
There are three mounting points on each side of the loading bay rails, but we're not sure if the battery will require bolts, or if some other mounting technique will be used. The main battery pack will share its refrigerant to coolant heat exchanger with the auxiliary battery, but the detachable pack will also have its own coolant line loop. According to the patent documentation, the new battery " may be configured to provide, for example, 10 kWh, 15 kWh, 20 kWh, etc. of electrical energy, and may weigh several hundred pounds."
There is no word as of yet regarding mow much added range this battery will provide, or how it will affect charging times, but it sounds like a pretty good idea.