rivian, Rivian R1T

Rivian files patent for tailgate with two methods for lowering

When it enters production in 2020, Rivian’s R1T battery-electric pickup truck might have a different tailgate design to what you’d normally find on a pickup.

A patent filed by Rivian in the World Intellectual Property Organization database shows a tailgate with two methods for lowering.

One method is your standard motion where the tailgate rotates around hinges at the edge of the bed, allowing it to drop down 90 degrees. The downside of this is that you need to arch over to reach items in the bed, since the tailgate prevents you from getting closer. It also requires more space behind the vehicle in order to lower.

Diagram from Rivian’s patent for “Swing and drop tailgate”

The second method sees the tailgate swing down vertically via a linkage. This solves the issue of the first method, though it raises the issue of what happens if there is a trailer being hitched. Rivian said the design could also feature latches that may constrain or prevent motion of the tailgate, presumably for a situation like this.

Some pickups sold overseas already feature tailgates that can rotate a full 180 degrees. Rivian also showed such a design on the R1T when the pickup debuted at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. We should remind you that just because Rivian has filed a patent for an alternative tailgate design doesn’t mean we’ll see it on the R1T when the truck enters production, as companies often file patents simply to protect a design.

When it comes to alternative tailgate designs, the prize undoubtedly goes to Tesla with its Cybertruck. The oddball pickup truck unveiled in November featured a tailgate that can not only rotate downward but can also extend so that it becomes a ramp, upon which you could roll up recreational vehicles like dirt bikes or even an electric quad that Tesla might offer as an option for the Cybertruck.

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

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Auto Shows, bollinger b2, Car News, chevrolet e-10, electric trucks, la auto show, Rivian R1T, tesla cybertruck

The Startup Electric Truck Wars Start at LA Auto Show

It seems that when it comes to EVs, electric trucks are the last frontier. While Ford and Chevrolet have introduced one-off models or prototypes of electric pickups, a few newer automakers have beaten them to the punch with production-ready—or near-ready—models. We take a closer look at the entrants in the startup truck wars. 

The Electric Truck Contenders 

Three startup automakers are looking to win the hearts and wallets of consumers: Bollinger Motors, a Detroit-based company showing its B2; Rivian, which created a buzz last year with a prototype of its R1T; and Tesla, which will debut its Cybertruck on November 21. 

Bollinger Motors

Bollinger’s B2 is likely to be the most exclusive of the bunch. Only 1,500 will be made in the first year with a price tag of $125,000. It’s got an all-aluminum body and electric powertrain that can deliver 614 horsepower and 668 pound-feet of torque. Bollinger says this engine can tow 7,500 pounds and has a payload of 5,000 pounds—but several outlets have noted that its primary use will be for off-roading, so its speed is capped at 100 mph and range is limited to 200 miles. 

One cool feature is a pass-through that extends from the front grille through the cabin into the bed. But look inside and you’ll notice it lacks an infotainment system, which many shoppers have come to expect in new cars. 


The R1T, with its rounded corners, elongated headlights, and futuristic tech, is a stylistic polar opposite of the B2. Rivian says the R1T will be able to make 754 horsepower and travel 400 miles. Its storage cubby—found behind the cabin—is best for snowboards or skis. Inside, it features a digital dashboard behind the steering wheel and a large, horizontal infotainment screen.

The R1T is set to go on sale in 2021. Its starting price will be just over half the price of a B2, at $69,000.

Rivian R1T


Details are sparse right now about Tesla’s electric truck. Musk has said the truck will have 400-500 miles of range, can seat six, and will start at $49,000. If Tesla is able to accomplish this, the Cybertruck will be the most affordable option for an electric pickup.

These startups face big challenges in getting their vehicles in front of consumers: Tesla has previously had problems sticking with deadlines, and neither Bollinger nor Rivian have established dealer networks.

Established Automakers Make EV Truck Plans 

It’s not just startups that are developing electric trucks. Earlier this year, Ford debuted an all-electric pickup that can tow 1,000,000 pounds. While the automaker admits the production version of this vehicle won’t have that capability, it showcases how Ford is thinking about electric trucks. We could see an electric version of the F-150 as soon as 2021. 

And recently at SEMA, Chevrolet introduced the all-electric E-10. The company’s press release suggests it can make 450 horsepower. And unlike the newcomers, the E-10 uses the entire bed for the truck’s battery. It also offers a 0-60 mph time of 5 seconds. However, it’s worth noting that we may never see a production-ready model of this vehicle. 

For more news from the LA Auto Show, check out these articles: 

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