You don’t just have to have an ordinary pickup, says Rivian.
The Rivian Forums posted these interesting shots of the upcoming R1T and its configurable bed modules. On top of a potential auxiliary battery pack, Rivian’s recent patent filings also show removable beds for their new truck.
The patent, titled “Systems and Methods for reconfigurable electric vehicles” was filed on January 11, 2017, but was recently published on February 19, 2019. The patent details the R1T — or at least a variation of the truck — with several different beds. From the traditional pickup bed, to recreational caps and toppers, to more utilitarian flatbed designs, it seems you may be able to swap the bed modules fairly easily. Since there aren’t any parts of the drivetrain to worry about, like a fuel tank, exhaust or driveshafts, the modules should be easy to swap out.
In fact, Rivian provided more detailed drawings showing how to swap them:
The battery pack and drivetrain modules are all mounted along the floor of the vehicle. Since there aren’t any other mechanical connections to worry about, it’s just a matter of unlatching the module itself.
Of course, this isn’t the first or only form of modular vehicle that exists. However, the patent goes one further, detailing how the truck adapts to new modules. According to patent application, the truck will automatically adjust its performance based on the module that’s installed on the back. That means when you plug a module in, the truck will adjust the maximum acceleration, ride firmness, braking sensitivity and suspension height to suit.
For now, Rivian has not confirmed this will debut on the R1T. The company does seem to be preparing for a market in which owners want to regularly swap these modules out, so perhaps Rivian will ultimately sell modules as accessories for your Rivian R1T. Stay tuned to TFLtruck.com for more updates!