Taking a page out of Tesla’s playbook, Rivian has announced it will be using lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery packs in their lineup of vehicles.
In addition, the automaker is developing a heat pump system, as well as new 800V charging architecture.
Rivian LFP Battery Packs
In their Q4 2021 shareholder letter, the automaker says the nickel-free batteries will be used in the new Standard battery pack option for the R1T and R1S electric vehicles (EVs).
Additionally, the Electric Delivery Van (EDV) designed for Amazon will also use the new battery chemistry. Rivian expects the van to have “similar daily range capabilities with LFP chemistry,” and the cheaper packs will also results in cost savings for the company.
The EDV will be the first to receive the LFP batteries, while the R1T and R1S are not expected to be delivered with the Standard pack until at least 2024.
Rivian Heat Pump and 800V Architecture
One of the features surprisingly left out of their EVs was a heat pump. Rivian is looking to change that, announcing in their shareholder letter they are ” developing a heat pump-based thermal system for improved cold weather efficiency.”
The heat pump is part of their “significant investment” into their next generation platform, which will also include new 800V architecture that allows for bi-direction charging.
This 800-volt architecture also includes an integrated on-board charger, DC to DC converter, and DC to AC converter, where the power stages of the DC-AC and AC-DC are bi-directional and share semiconductors, magnetics, and the controller.
Facing a difficult production ramp and continued supply chain constraints, Rivian downgraded their 2022 production target from around 50,000 units to just 25,000 units.
The company posted a $2.45 billion loss in Q4 2021, and a $4.22 billion loss for the full year.