I’m talking about an innovation first seen in a Rivian promo video showing its R1T electric pickup intentionally spinning on a dial in a similar way to a tank. The video was posted two years ago, but only recently has a patent been requested for the technology—by Ford.
What exactly is the “Tank Turn”?
The idea presented in Rivian’s video shows the R1T’s left and right wheels spinning in opposite directions, allowing the pickup to spin like a top. The truck’s four electric motors make this capability easier to perform, but as of now, it’s not featured in the R1T.
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Other automakers have similar ideas
Ford and Rivian might be duking it out for “Tank Turn” ownership, but they aren’t the only automakers playing around with new wheel directions for electric vehicles.
IEVs says Toyota filed a patent in 2019 for a similar gear-reliant concept to what Ford would use for its dual-motor powertrain. GMC has also produced novel direction-controls in the
Hummer EVlike “Crab Walk” mode, which allows all four wheels to turn at the same time.
Will Ford and Rivian’s “Tank Turn” and other new features make electric vehicles more expensive?
New features like “Quad-Motor Tank Turn” and “Crab Walk” mode are intended to impress new customers, but they also make vehicles more expensive. Automakers generally offer them as optional upgrades, though, so you can keep your sticker price low by opting out.
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