Rivian has a new patent that may make the R1T electric truck a viable option for more buyers going forward. According to Electrek, the patent is for movable panels in the truck’s bed that would cover secret storage compartments and offer utility surfaces for various uses.
When Rivian first revealed the R1T, one of the most immediate concerns from some people was its size. While the electric pickup truck isn’t compact, it’s not quite as large as a typical full-size pickup truck. In addition, though the Rivian electric truck is highly capable off the pavement and can tow and haul relatively heavy loads, it’s not seen by many as a “true” work truck that has full-fledged functionality for when owners might need to use it as a truck is intended.
As expected, Rivian is struggling. This is not to say its problems stem from the size or functionality of its vehicles, but it’s clear that the company may do anything it can right now to appeal to people and boost its brand image and sales.
Rivian’s unique “gear tunnel” certainly got folks’ attention early on, especially when the automaker announced that it could be fitted with a camp kitchen and potentially other equipment. However, the company already had to discontinue the camp kitchen amid its struggles.
With that said, the electric truck maker’s CEO RJ Scaringe told Marques Brownlee during his appearance on a recent MKBHD podcast that Rivian plans to redesign the popular camp kitchen so it doesn’t make use of the full gear tunnel. People want to use the gear tunnel for larger items, and with the camp kitchen consuming it, they can’t. Brownlee noted that smaller items tend to slide all around back there.
Based on a recent patent application listed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Rivian is planning a “movable panel for a vehicle exterior.” The panel will have various storage bins and utility surfaces to increase the truck’s capacity and functionality.
The patent shows a pickup truck with bed sides that fold down into what looks like tables and chairs. There are also drawings of different options with storage compartments, and one showing a pull-out kitchen table with two seats. While it looks like it could be the newly designed camp kitchen Scaringe mentioned, the patent application doesn’t specify.
After you’ve had a chance to look over the images, let us know what you think. Do you believe Rivian will follow through with such redesign choices? If so, will the increased storage and unique functionality lure more buyers? Leave us your words of wisdom in the comment section below.