How Nicely Does the Rivian R1T Tow?
Roy RitchieAutomotive and Driver
Welcome to Automotive and Driver’s Testing Hub, the place we zoom in on the check numbers. We’ve been pushing automobiles to their limits since 1956 to supply goal information to bolster our subjective impressions (you’ll be able to see how we check right here). A extra complete overview of the 2022 Rivian R1T could be discovered right here.
In some ways, Rivian makes it very straightforward to make use of the R1T as a tow rig. While you join trailer wiring to the R1T, a Towing choice that is not usually there seems on the mode-selection display screen, and the buttons on the suitable facet of the steering wheel morph to take command of the built-in trailer-brake controller, which, if you’re hauling something near its 11,000-pound ranking, you’ll want to dial in.
However earlier than you go plunking down a deposit in your new R1T to tow your boat, think about how and the place you wish to tow your boat.
Switching to Tow mode comes with some ominous foreshadowing, because the R1T’s indicated vary disappears, immediately going from 270 miles to 103. So, for all intents and functions, cross-country trailering with the R1T is like attempting to go on a street journey in a Mazda MX-30, a automobile with 70 miles of vary at 75 mph. Sure, there are sufficient DC quick chargers between Ann Arbor and Traverse Metropolis, Michigan, to make that journey—a quite common weekend getaway for southeastern Michigan residents—attainable, but it surely is not all that sensible.
At 75 mph, we discovered the R1T (unladen, with only a driver) to have a freeway vary of 220 miles. However with 5650 kilos of BMW E91 328i wagon strapped to a Futura trailer, the real-world vary is lower in half at related speeds. Including even this average trailer turns the one-stop, roughly 4.2-hour journey (together with the time to cost) right into a four-stop, 6.2-hour affair (based on estimates offered by A Higher Route Planner). And that’s pulling into Traverse Metropolis with simply 10 % cost. Cross your fingers for a tailwind, or solely plan to tow on downhill grades.
Luckily, describing how the Rivian pulls a trailer could be summed up with one phrase: fabulous. It by no means feels sluggish off the road or when passing because of the 4 motors and their prodigious torque. When slowing down, the regenerative braking feels pure. Plus, we did not detect a touch of trailer sway, which is significantly a perform of how the trailer is loaded, however we did not even really feel a lot as a tug from crosswind.
However even when the method of towing is implausible, the spider-web community of DC quick chargers created by Tesla, Cost Level, Electrify America, and others, wasn’t designed with electrical pickups towing a trailer in thoughts. Charging bays should not designed like each gasoline station, the place you’ll be able to pull by means of (we all know of 1 pull-through DC quick charger in Baker, California). Extra possible than not, should you plan to tow an important distance together with your Rivian, you’ll have to disconnect your trailer at each charging cease. The R1T’s cost port is in its nostril, so there’s a likelihood that you can connect with a DC quick charger with a trailer linked, however whether or not there’s even room to dam just a few unused parking spots, or an unpopular parking-lot aisle is not one thing you’ll be able to rely on. At the least all of the EVs that may function tow rigs have backup cameras, so the disconnect-reconnect jig would occur shortly.
If we conservatively add 10 minutes per cease to take care of connecting and disconnecting a trailer, the hypothetical Ann Arbor–Traverse Metropolis journey turns into seven hours, or simply about double what Google Maps says the drive would soak up a hydrocarbon-burning pickup.
These sensible issues with EV towing aren’t distinctive to Rivian. All EV pickups and SUVs share this similar wrestle. If all you ever do is run your boat to the native launch, you’ll love the R1T as a tow rig. Simply do not go retiring your favourite tow rig fairly but in case your vacation spot requires a DC cost or two.
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