OTA updates are changing everything about cars as we know them. Now, Rivian has updated their R1T and R1S with a decent amount of range to their EVs.
Over-the-air (OTA) updates have been around for a while. We use them to update our phones, our computers, and all of our other goodies. But who knew that “OTA” updates would become a term getting tossed around in the auto industry?
To change or modify the car’s performance or essence? These are the times we are living in now. We’re not complaining as long as it adds extra capacity and improves performance while being free (unlike some manufacturers).
The American electric automaker, Rivian, has been sending a barrage of OTA updates to their R1T electric truck and the R1S electric SUV. One in particular increased the range capability of their massive battery packs by about 5-14 miles.
An OTA Update Adds 5-14 Miles To The R1T And R1S
The R1T and the R1S already had a considerable amount of juice when it came to the range of the electric truck and SUV. Both vehicles received an over-the-air update, which bumped the R1T’s estimated total range to 328 miles from 314 miles. That’s a 14-mile increase in range for the all-electric truck. 14 miles is a pretty big number for EV range.
While the R1S update wasn’t as significant, considering the three-row SUV, the R1S already had quite some range prior to the update. The R1S could do a total of 316 miles. Now, it can reach up to 321 miles in total. That’s a 5-mile increase over the existing number. Rivian increased the range of the R1T and R1S to 328 and 321 miles, respectively.
The whole update changelog can be found on Rivian’s website, which details all the things they’ve changed in the R1S and the R1T over the air.
However, these ranges and estimates are only for the Large battery option, quad-motor variants. Since then, Rivian has removed any range estimates for dual-motor vehicles from their website. This doesn’t come without controversy and confusion with the enthusiasts, though. Rivian’s configurations and offerings can be quite confusing for most people.
Rivian R1T And R1S Have A Range Of 328 And 321 Miles
Rivian currently offers three different battery pack options. They have a Standard battery pack, which is not available on the quad-motor, all-wheel drive models. But any of the Standard, Large, or Max battery options can, according to Rivian, be equipped with the dual-motor, all-wheel drive variants, which aren’t even available yet. Even though Rivian has claimed they’ve been in their testing phase for a very long time.
So, as of now, Rivian is really only sending out updates to their large quad-motor variants. Other than that, no other variant has gotten any updates. All of this can be taken with a grain of salt since the updates are very specific to only one variant of both the R1T electric truck and the R1S three-row electric SUV.
At the same time that the updates were sent out to the R1T and R1S, Rivian also removed the ability to add accessories to their lineup. Fans aren’t too happy about this move, but Rivian asks for some benefit of doubt since they would like to redesign and re-release the accessories.
Besides the range updates, Rivian has been sending plenty of other over-the-air (OTA) updates to their lineup of quad-motor R1T and R1S. They added a snow mode along with plenty of other enhancements to the electric vehicles.
Rivian Continues Sending Updates Despite Trouble
Rivian’s new snow mode is built for roads that are covered in snow. The snow mode assists the vehicle and the driver by softening the throttle response to prevent wheel spin and thus keeping the electric vehicle under control. It also adds brake regeneration, which keeps the wheels from locking up. This snow mode also allows the vehicle owner to remotely warm up their R1T or R1S and defrost the windshields before getting into the car in the event of heavy snowfall.
Rivian recommends using this mode only for roads that have not been cleared of snow. The driver should use the all-terrain off-road mode for off-road snowing. This update also fixed plenty of bugs with the brakes and suspensions. The EVs will now also go into sleep mode automatically if the door is left open for too long.
All of these updates show that Rivian is dedicated to the cause of making electric vehicles. They continue to improve the functionality of the R1T and the R1S despite facing multiple difficulties. Aside from supply-chain and manufacturing issues, Rivian was denied a $1.5 billion incentive package to build a factory in Georgia by a Georgia court. Rivian has also been unable to keep its promises, backing out of a deal with Mercedes-Benz while continuously pushing back releases.
Nonetheless, even after facing so many hardships, Rivian continues to send OTA updates to their lineup to improve their vehicles. They need credit where it’s due.
Sources: Rivian, Reuters