Electric Truck Startup Rivian's Patents Look a Lot Like My Idea for Modular Cars

BY admin February 26, 2019 Design 4 views

First, let me be clear that I’m not, in any legal sense, accusing anyone of anything. All I’m saying is that there’s been two recent patent filings from the electric truck-making startup Rivian that happen to be a hell of a lot like ideas from articles I’ve written in the past. They’re ideas that, I think, just make…

First, let me be clear that I’m not, in any legal sense, accusing anyone of anything. All I’m saying is that there’s been two recent patent filings from the electric truck-making startup Rivian that happen to be a hell of a lot like ideas from articles I’ve written in the past. They’re ideas that, I think, just make sense, so it’s very likely they came to them independently. Still, just let me have this for a little bit.

The two patents cover two very different concepts for electric vehicles: One is a sort of auxiliary battery pack to extend range, and the other is a concept for modular bodies that could be used to reconfigure an electric vehicle, especially in the context of shared cars.

In the past, I’ve published ideas that, I believe, are quite similar to both of these. Let’s go into a bit of detail.

For the first concept, the auxiliary battery one, is essentially talking about adding another, easily removable battery pack into the cargo area of the vehicle. Here’s the patent’s abstract:

“An electric vehicle system for transporting human passengers or cargo includes an electric vehicle that includes a body, a plurality of wheels, a cargo area, an electric motor for propelling the electric vehicle, and a primary battery for providing electrical power to the electric motor for propelling the electric vehicle. An auxiliary battery module is attachable to the electric vehicle for providing electrical power to the electric motor via a first electrical connector at the auxiliary battery module and a second electrical connector at the electric vehicle that mates with the first electrical connector. The auxiliary battery module can be positioned in the cargo area while supplying power to the electric motor, and can be removable and reattachable from the electric vehicle. The auxiliary battery module includes an integrated cooling system for cooling itself during operation of the electric vehicle including a conduit therein for circulating coolant.”

Now, to compare, back in 2017 I wrote an article talking about the possibility of something I not-so-cleverly called trunk batteries:

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