Testing its ability to charge, and, of course, drift.
Rivian, the all-electric vehicle manufacturer, has been making big moves in the past few months, with the production of its R1S SUV having started last month. The much-anticipated R1T truck has also been seen undergoing some intense off-road testing on rocky trails in the Arizona desert, and the latest video shows it being put through its paces in extremely cold conditions. Rivian headed to a snow and ice track just outside of Baudette, Minnesota to test the R1T's charging ability, thermal levels, and traction systems, and the YouTube video seems to portray a successful trial, even at temperatures as cold as -40° F.
The company's batteries use an axial cooling method via a central cold plate that uses the minimum amount of energy to keep the battery cells at their optimum operating temperature. Laura, a Controls Integration Engineer at Rivian explains the importance of this test in regards to battery performance: "In extremely cold conditions we use some battery energy to keep the cells in our battery above 14°F to provide controlled vehicle performance. Our battery is uniquely designed to operate in super-cold conditions, all the way down to an ambient temp of -40°F." The team has revealed that at 0° F, charging is halved from 25 miles of range per hour charged from an AC charger, but returns to normal after an hour.
Rivian also tested its truck's traction control, torque vectoring, regen slip control, anti-lock braking, and electronic stability control in wet, cold, and snowy conditions. The team made use of an inertia measurement unit and a gyroscope mounted to the roof to get the most accurate readings, which they used to confirm the accuracy of their algorithm. The Rivian team is clearly passionate about their work, as made clear by Laura: "I like winter a lot, so I really enjoy this. Once we're heated and charged, we're going to take the truck out and just drive." We can't wait to test the finished product.
The Rivian R1T is slated for production starting in June 2021, with deliveries starting immediately thereafter.