Exploring the Possibility of Rivian Towing for Infinite Range: Technical Challenges, Practical Considerations and Cost Analysis
Rivian towing a Rivian for infinite range?
Though it may sound like an impossible task, the idea of towing one Rivian with another in order to gain infinite range is not as far-fetched as it seems. It has been observed that regenerative braking can provide more range than the distance travelled, and tests have shown that a Tesla Model 3 gained 3.5 miles in range after being towed over 1.4 miles. This suggests that if you could tow at 30 miles per hour using less than 1 kwh/per mile, then theoretically you would be able to build up range in the towed vehicle via regen.
However, this does not take into account energy losses due to friction and heat, meaning that you will expend more energy than you are able to regenerate. Additionally, considering charge rates at 16 miles per hour, it would not be possible to charge fast enough. Even if you were to use a generator, you'd only be adding 3-4 miles per hour of range.
At this point, there is no data available to support whether or not the regen in place on EV's will be sufficient to generate enough power for this concept to work. Until we know how much range the Rivian loses by actually towing another one, it is difficult to say whether or not this is possible. Nevertheless, the test results from the Tesla suggest that it may be worth exploring further.
In addition to the technical challenges, there are also practical considerations. For example, it would be difficult to find a place where you could tow two Rivians at 30 miles per hour for an extended period of time without running into legal issues. Additionally, if one vehicle were to break down while being towed by another, then both vehicles would need to be recovered and repaired before they can continue their journey.
Finally, even if this concept is technically feasible and legally permissible in certain areas, it may not make sense from a cost perspective due to the additional energy required for charging and regen braking. It's possible that the extra costs associated with this setup could outweigh any potential benefits gained from having infinite range capabilities on your EV fleet.
At present we cannot say definitively whether or not Rivian will ever offer such an option as part of its product lineup; however given recent developments in regenerative braking technology combined with advances in battery storage capacity it is certainly something worth exploring further!
Is it possible to tow-charge an EV and build range in the towed vehicle via regen?
Yes, it is possible to tow-charge an EV and build range in the towed vehicle via regen, however, the amount of energy you recover will be less than the energy consumed by the towing vehicle.
Could two vehicles tow each other and “leapfrog” for unlimited range?
No, this is not possible as it violates the laws of physics.
Are there any theoretical “real world” applications?
If you are able to support gains at a net-zero elevation gain (either flat road or if there is a decline at some point there would need to be an incline at another to compensate — such as a return journey) then you may expend more energy towing the vehicle than you’d gain back through regen.
Could you tow at 30 miles per hour using less than 1 kwh/per mile?
This depends on the type of EV being towed and the terrain being traveled. It is best to consult with the manufacturer for specific information regarding your vehicle.
How much range will the Rivian lose by actually towing another one?
Until we know that, neither one of us has any factual information to say it is possible or not possible. However, based on available tests, it's not as impossible as the thought of it would initially seem.
Is it possible to tow a Rivian with another Rivian for infinite range?
No, this is not possible as the energy consumed by the towing vehicle will be greater than the energy recovered from the towed vehicle.