Charge by Towing

IHScout

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Hello Everyone,

This is my first post. We are going to place a pre-order tonight for our R1S to replace our Suburban. Curious if anyone saw the part in Long Way Up where they have the R1S towed by a semi to give it a charge? Is this something that Rivian will bless in their warranty? I tow a camper to a rural area of Arizona for our family camping, and it is nowhere near a charger. Hoping that this may be an alternative for remote charging in emergencies. Sorry for the longwinded post. Thank you.
 

U100

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I have no idea if Rivian will bless charge by towing or not, but I don’t see how it could void any portion of the vehicle’s warranty as it’s simply taking advantage of the regenerative charging designed into the system.
 

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They've promoted the ability as a feature, so can't see how they could then say it voids the warranty.
 
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IHScout

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They've promoted the ability as a feature, so can't see how they could then say it voids the warranty.
Thanks. I had not heard of them promoting it as a feature, so I appreciate the feedback.
 

ajdelange

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If the "motors" can charge the battery while gravity is pulling the truck along the road then they can obviously charge the batteries while something else is pulling the truck along the road. Certainly some modification to the control software would be wanted such that, for example, the driver of the towing vehicle could control the amount of regeneration through his smartphone as charging at even a 11.5 kW rate (what the internal Level 2 charger does) represents 15.4 extra HP from the towing vehicle's engine.
 

loucetios

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Interesting post. Will the battery receive a slight recharge when an R1T or R1S descends a mountain road or a long road with a downward sloping grade? Just curious.
 

ajdelange

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There will be a power meter on one of the displays that shows power flow to and from the battery. So you will see with your own eyes! In particular you will see the power surge up into the tens of kW when you accelerate and, if you accelerate when going up a hill to 100 kW or more. Conversely if you take your foot off the pedal when going fast you will see the power drop into the negative region. Going down hill the power meter will drop into the negative and while it may jump around quite a bit as you adjust speed it will stay negative for the whole time you are descending. I have had a trip of 15 or so miles duration at the conclusion of which the battery SoC was 2% higher than it was when I left. Obviously this was downhill all the way (from a wind farm at the top of a mountain). The answer ultimately depends of the balance of powers. Going down hill gravity is powering the car while drag, wheel slip and rolling resistance are consuming power. If the gravitational input is greater than the slip/drag/rolling consumption the rest goes to the battery (assuming, of course, that regen has been enabled).
 

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Interesting post. Will the battery receive a slight recharge when an R1T or R1S descends a mountain road or a long road with a downward sloping grade? Just curious.
Yes, this is due to regenerative braking. This doesn't even require a downhill stretch, regen can come into play any time a vehicle is slowing down whether that be on level ground or an uphill grade although the effect will be greatest on a long downhill.
 

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Thanks for the replies. Now all I need is my R1T and a destination that is downhill both ways. :like:
 

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Is it even legal in the US to drag a car with simple straps like they do in the show? I’ve only ever seen a vehicle being towed with a proper hitch setup and electric brakes.
 
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Is it even legal in the US to drag a car with simple straps like they do in the show? I’ve only ever seen a vehicle being towed with a proper hitch setup and electric brakes.
Probably depends where you are and under what circumstance. I haven't seen the show yet to know exactly what they had, but I've towed vehicles with just a strap when necessary (broken down but still rolls), though usually with a second driver in the vehicle being towed.
 

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Interesting post. Will the battery receive a slight recharge when an R1T or R1S descends a mountain road or a long road with a downward sloping grade? Just curious.
Yes
 

ajdelange

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What actually happens depends on the driving conditions - all of them. As mentioned in my previous post whenever the power meter reads negative the battery is charging but what counts is how much time the gauge is negative and how negative it is relative to how much time it is positive and how positive. If you do calculus net charge delivered to (negative) or taken from (positive)the battery is the integral (area under) that graph of power vs time. In general the positive (discharge) side dominates. It take a pretty steep (3 - 4%) grade persistant over most of a trip for the battery to acquire a net positive charge. Most of the time the energy given back to the car by gravity simply goes to overcoming drag, rolling resistance and slip. But it can and does happen sometimes. In the more common case a long downhill grade manifests itself as noticeably low consumption say 200 Wh/mi for a vehicle with a 300 Wh/mi rated consumption.
 

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