There’s no doubt that electric cars will be come increasingly common in years to come. Instead of just being small vehicles designed for cities, automakers are banking on the idea that choosing an EV will be just like choosing which engine to go with in a car. Because of this, EV’s are now entering the pickup truck market with the Tesla Cybertruck, GMC Hummer, Bollinger B1 and B2, and Rivian R1T. But with bigger vehicles with more difficult jobs comes bigger batteries. They will take longer to get to a full charge, making them less practical for work and daily purposes. But a recent patent by Rivian uncovered by Trucks.com suggests that they are working towards a solution to this problem.
Through the technical jargon of the patent, Rivian’s new battery tech looks like it will combat long charging times by using a configurable voltage switching mechanism. Basically, it will allow for Rivian to use 800 volt charging on a 400 volt battery pack, or 600V on a 300V and so on. The patent also outlines the ability for this voltage switching module to manage faults in the battery without disconnecting from the load, making it more reliable.
If the Rivian R1T and R1S get this tech, the vehicles will be able to charge at a higher rate than their competition, and other EVs. Rivian has updated their specs to claim their truck and SUV will be capable of charging at 300 kW, likely reflective of this patent. For comparison, the Tesla Model 3 tops out at 250 kW, while the Porsche has the highest charging rate at 270 kW. This could push Rivian to the top of charging times and rates for EVs.
This patent could spell trouble for Ford, who recently pulled $500 million in funding from Rivian to collaborate on a Lincoln EV. Without working together, Rivian will be happy to keep this technology all to itself and Ford will lose out on what may be the fastest charging the industry.