Now You Can Go Overlanding In Your Rivian EV

Estimated read time 2 min read

Only there’s a huge catch.

One of the biggest problems with electric vehicles has been the fact you can’t easily take extra electricity along for trips through remote areas, especially overlanding. If you’re not aware, overlanding is essentially a multi-day off-road trek through virtually unpopulated wilderness. Overlanders carry jerrycans with extra fuel and plenty of supplies so they don’t get stranded. Now Optima Batteries has rolled out a solution to take Rivian EVs on overland treks and charge up the batteries off the grid.

Watch a PIT maneuver end in the suspect and cop go flying here.

The solution, as you might have already guessed from the photo, involves the Rivian towing a trailer affixed with solar panels and extra batteries. At first blush, you either think this is a brilliantly innovative or horrendously stupid solution.

To be fair, towing a trailer while going through rough terrain, even one that’s properly outfitted for such a trek, can be tricky. Yes, it can be done but it requires a higher skill set than just driving an off-roader through such conditions. But let’s be honest, most Rivian owners aren’t going to be doing an overlanding trip using super dangerous trails for fear they might dent or otherwise maim their very expensive electric vehicle.

One of the trailers allows you to bring along dirt bikes, but they specifically advertise electric dirt bikes, of course. Since those two-wheelers will need to be recharged using the same batteries the Rivian will eventually need to draw from, that could negatively impact driving range in some situations. But wait, there’s more.

The other trailer contains a mobile kitchen. Many overlanders pride themselves in cooking elaborate meals whilst traveling through the middle of nowhere, the juxtaposition giving them some sort of intellectual thrill. Optima proudly declares the stove in the kitchen is electric. There’s hot water available, but something tells us it’s not heated using propane.

In other words, your ability to travel and cook food is dependent entirely on having juice in the batteries. And that is at some point entirely dependent on there being little to no cloud cover. Literally, your ability to travel and survive during an expedition hinges on the weather more than usual. It just doesn’t seem like a great plan.

Images via Optima Batteries

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