Home » Rivian’s leading-edge electric trucks push industry on electrification
Electric vehicle startup Rivian has been on a roll lately, with major events including the unveiling of its highly anticipated all-electric pickup and SUV leading up to the 2018 LA Auto Show. In April of this year the company announced an equity investment of $500 million from Ford Motor Company. And in September, following an earlier announcement of its $440 million investment, Amazon announced the order of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian. The company has made quite an impact with its Electric Adventure Vehicles, the R1T is a five-passenger pickup truck and the R1S a seven-passenger SUV. In top spec, the company promises more than a 400 mi (640 km) electric range and a wading depth of 1 m (3.3 ft) for the quad-motor AWD vehicles. The vehicles ride on a skateboard platform, Rivian’s key intellectual property, which contains the battery pack, drive units, suspension, braking, and thermal systems. When combined with a low center of gravity, a sophisticated air suspension of front unequal-length double wishbones and rear multilinks make for better vehicle agility and stability. The architecture enables instant and active torque vectoring with extremely precise control at each wheel, which is completely game-changing from a dynamics perspective, both on- and off-road. The quad-motor propulsion system is offered in three versions, delivering total vehicle power (at gearbox input) of 300 kW, 562 kW, or 522 kW. Three battery pack sizes are planned, with the 180 kW·h and 135 kW·h available at launch and the base 105-kW·h variant to follow within 12 months of the start of production. Those pack sizes equate to ranges greater than 400, 300, and 230 mi (640, 480, and 370 km), respectively. The trucks will be produced at the company’s manufacturing facility in Normal, IL, with customer deliveries beginning in late 2020.
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This issue focuses on the end-to-end transformation of dSPACE, external HMI for pedestrian safety, the latest in over-the-air software updates, Urban Air Mobility commercialization efforts, and our special feature on new mobility and the COVID-19 pandemic.