Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian has patented a set of cargo attachments for its R1T truck that would allow owners to customize the truck for a variety of pickup purposes.
The patent includes four designs for modules that would attach to the R1T's cargo bed. They include a shallow pickup bed and a set of side rails that evoke the Chevrolet Avalanche. There is also a pair cargo bed caps that provide protection from the elements. Rivian's fifth option is to leave the attachments at home and turn the R1T into a flatbed. RivianForums.com has prepared some slick renderings of what the different configurations would look like.
Rivian's R1T would not be the first pickup with options for an enclosed cargo area; aftermarket pickup box caps have been a thing for a long time. Rivian's idea also follows on the Nissan Pulsar of the late 1980s, which could be optioned with a reconfigurable rear half that turned the car from a traditional fastback into a tiny station wagon. Rivian's latest patent calls to mind the GMC Envoy XUV, which was part SUV, part light-duty pickup truck.
Rivian's attachments would include electrical connections to tie them into the truck's computer systems. That way, the truck's controls would know which piece is in place and configure the steering, suspension and brakes to compensate for the weight difference. That connection would also provide power for a rear wiper on the two cargo box caps.
This is the second Rivian patent published by the US Patent and Trademark Office in recent weeks. Last month, we saw the EV company's idea for an auxiliary battery pack that would extend the R1T's driving range.
Rivian began taking Canadian orders for the R1T pickup and R1S SUV earlier this year. The company showed both vehicles in concept form at the 2018 LA auto show, and says it plans to start production and deliveries in 2020.