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The Rivian R1T Towing Test Shows Big Range Penalty, Cross Country Trip Still Possible

The First Rivian R1T real-life towing test shows a big range penalty, with charging needed every 100 miles (162 km). A cross-country trip is still possible, although not entirely convenient. People see why an ICE is still more suited for the job.
The First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penalty 17 photos
The First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penaltyThe First Rivian R1T towing test shows a big range penalty
The Rivian R1T was recently launched in the USA as one of the few all-electric pickup trucks on the market available today. While still mostly in the hands of Rivian employees, the R1T has already made a big splash in the market. Recently, one of the few Rivian R1T owners has decided to take a cross-country trip while towing a Ford Mustang on a trailer. The trip was not, supposedly, a publicity stunt, but rather a necessity due to a relocation from Michigan to California.

It is, probably, the first real-world cross-country towing test for the Rivian R1T, which had to cover around 2,700 miles (4,344 km). The whole story was documented on Instagram, while The Fast Lane Truck provided a little more insight into this endeavor.

According to the manufacturer, the Rivian R1T is allowed to tow 11,000 lbs. (4,990 kg), in which case the pickup’s range might be cut in half. As the EPA range rating for this car is 314 miles (505 km), we expect a towing range to be around 157 miles (253 km).

In the real world, as people don’t discharge the battery down to zero, nor do they charge it to 100%, we expect a practical range close to 100 miles. According to The Fast Lane Truck, the couple relocating was charging the battery between 16% and 80% SOC. This essentially means 64% of the stated range, or 201 miles (323 km). I guess above 80%, the charging slows down considerably, and is not worth it to waste time at the charger.

Given the circumstances, it was clear that charging every 100 miles while also waiting another one hour or so at a charging station is not the most convenient way to make a cross-country trip. Above that, as charging stations are not conceived for trucks towing trailers, you need to disconnect the trailer, which is not the most pleasant activity either.

This trip clearly shows internal combustion cars are still needed for some heavy-lifting jobs. That’s not to say the battery-electric cars will not make these trips easier at some future point in time. Remember, not many years ago, even 100 miles of range seemed impossible, even without a trailer in tow.



 
 
 
 
 

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