Electric ute and SUV maker Rivian has demonstrated the wading ability of its R1T and R1S, by driving the EVs through what looks like a lap pool. And with no apparent problems.
The post on Twitter and Facebook shows the two vehicles entering a “specially designed” testing course that simulates a flooded courseway. The depth of the water reaches approximately a foot past the bottom of the doorwell.
“Putting in a little work at the lap pool,” said Rivian, before reminding owners to drive safely.
Putting in a little work at the lap pool. 🏊🏼♀️🏊🏻
Driving video was filmed with professional drivers on a closed course designed for testing purposes. Be responsible. Drive safely. pic.twitter.com/gpcdjIAnIU
— Rivian (@Rivian) August 29, 2022
Both the R1T and R1S come in a variety of configurations, with the top-tier models providing an estimated real-world driving range of 640 km or more with a 180 kWh battery.
The quad-motor drivetrains claim acceleration from 0-100km/hr in just under 3 seconds and a towing capability of up to 5 metric tonnes. They also promise to be able to wade through a foot of water. If it sounds like a vehicle with this much power would be slow off the line, think again.
These vehicles have a number of features that elevate them above simple dual-cab utes, such as a tonne of storage space underneath the seats, in the “gear tunnel,” and, of course, in the back (the ute has a lockable hatch).
The R1S weighs in at 2.65 tonnes and the R1T at more than three tonnes. In a follow up post, Rivian said that the maximum fording height is around 1.09 metres for both vehicles.
We’ve tested vehicles in a variety of conditions to make sure the R1 can handle any adventure. Depending on suspension settings and wheel size, the maximum water fording height is 43.1 inches in the R1T, and 43.2 inches in the R1S.
— Rivian (@Rivian) August 30, 2022
The demonstration is quite impressive, although it would appear the test has been done without the flowing action of a flooded river bed.
That said, both vehicles have been designed with adventure off-roading in mind. Nevertheless, we advise anyone looking to cross a flooded ford, “if it is flooded, forget it.”
Some Rivian owners have already been out testing the fording ability of their vehicles in creative ways. One such example was shared on Youtube in mid-August, when a boat owner outdid fellow waterlovers at the local ramp by simply driving their Rivian into the water to launch the boat:
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.