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Rivian plans EV charging network with stations at remote, outdoorsy locations

The network will help its SUV and truck customers get to the great outdoors

Rivian wants owners of its upcoming R1T truck and R1S SUV to take them into the great outdoors. Taking owners where regular cars can’t go is part of a truck’s or SUV’s raison d’etre, but the great outdoors usually have pretty poor electricity grids. Rivian hopes to address that problem with a network of charging stations located at far-flung destinations for all sorts of outdoor recreation.

In an interview with our friends at TechCrunch, Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe revealed plans for these stations, which will collectively be called the Rivian Adventure Network. Scaringe hopes they’ll draw people to places they might not otherwise venture. The network will also help alleviate range anxiety, especially since they will feature DC fast charging, and allow customers to drive long distances with confidence.

Besides offering customers more charging points, Rivian wants more control over its charging infrastructure. The ones developed by other automakers and third-party companies offer varying levels of user experience, and Rivian doesn’t want to be dependent on that. Unlike Tesla, which employs a proprietary system, Rivian uses CCS, one of the two most popular EV charging port standards. Theoretically, that means drivers of other electric cars could use these stations, but whether Rivian will allow that is unknown.

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2021 Ram 1500 pickup earns IIHS Top Safety Pick award with updated safety equipment

Applies to trucks with optional forward-collision warning and specific headlights

Thanks to changes in option-package content, the 2021 Ram 1500 crew cab pickup achieves a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). For 2021, the Ram adds Pedestrian Protection as part of the optional Advanced Safety Group, which allows the forward collision prevention system to detect people walking in front of the vehicle. Pedestrian collision mitigation is one of the requirements for earning an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating.

In IIHS testing, the Ram’s pedestrian-protection system avoided hitting the pedestrian dummy or braked enough to moderate the impact in all tests save for one where the vehicle is traveling 37 mph and the pedestrian is walking in the same direction. Still, the overall results of the vehicle-to-pedestrian tests and the vehicle-to-vehicle collision avoidance tests, where the Ram avoided crashes at 12 and 25 mph, were deemed “Acceptable” and “Superior” respectively.

The Ram also achieved a top score of “Good” in the agency’s various crash tests.

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Ford Ranger SuperCrew Luggage Test | How much fits in the back seat?

Obviously, it all fits in the bed. But for security and weather, it’s going inside

No, I’m not about to see if six pieces of luggage fit in a pickup bed. Besides the “duh” nature of such a test, there are issues with storing luggage in a pickup bed in the first place. Thieves for one, rain for another. Yes, yes, I know, “What about a tonneau cover?” Sure, you could get one of those, but most folks do not.

As such, let’s see how much fits in the Ranger SuperCrew’s back seat. And please, keep in mind these six-pieces of luggage (and this test in general) amounts to a comparative analog more than me literally finding out if I could bring along my specific six bags on vacation with me.

Here is the SuperCrew’s back seat. Though competitively spacious for a midsize pickup’s cab, there’s a problem: it only folds up in one solid piece. It’s not split as in most other trucks, meaning you can’t have someone sit back there while maximizing cargo space.

I know this from experience. I went to pick up my mother-in-law from the airport once using the Ranger only to discover she’d have to sit with a pair of suitcases looming next to her on the seat. And as we’re in Portland, it was raining, so no bed.

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