Earlier this week, Rivian released a big software update for its R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV, delivering a new “Snow mode” and several other enhancements. And while new features are great, the software update increased the range for both vehicles.
The December update added the option to pre-heat the second-row seats and futon, heat the steering wheel, and remotely turn on defrost. Snow mode relaxes the throttle response and improves cold-weather driving, and it sounds like Rivian made several upgrades to the battery and regenerative braking system. As a result, both the truck and SUV now have a higher estimated range.
In the official Rivian R1T and R1S version 2022.47 December changelog, Rivian mentions Improved battery longevity, battery durability, and regenerative braking performance. Enhanced regen availability and you can use regen for longer durations.”
An eagle-eyed Rivian fan on Reddit noticed that, along with the update, Rivian changed the online configurator with higher mileage estimates this week. For example, the Rivian R1T with AWD and the large battery pack went from 314 miles to an estimated 328, an increase of 14 miles per charge. I don’t know about you, but that equals an extra gallon of gas for my truck.
We’re seeing something similar for the Rivian R1S, which went from 316 miles to 321. Interestingly enough, the SUV didn’t jump as much as the truck, but we’ll take all the extra miles we can get.
It looks like the December update improved range and efficiency, likely due to the increase in regenerative braking performance, and that the vehicles can use regen for longer durations. For those unaware, regenerative braking converts the energy from braking and puts it back into the electric system and battery. As a result, you’ll gain mileage.
Unfortunately, the Rivian website no longer shows several add-on accessories for the vehicles, either, which has fans and customers frustrated. We’ve reached out to Rivian and will report back once we learn more.