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Texas doctor uses his Rivian truck to power a vasectomy

Rivian power.jpg
Dr. Christopher Yang, a urologist from Austin, Texas, used his Rivian R1T truck to power a vasectomy Thursday at his clinic.

The young electric automaker Rivian has had a lot of firsts. The first truck to drive off the assembly line. The first accident out on the road. And now – the first vasectomy powered by a Rivian.

It happened Thursday in Texas, when a power outage hit Dr. Christopher Yang’s clinic. The Austin urologist had to cancel and reschedule several planned procedures. The vasectomy would have been one of them – until one of the staffers jokingly suggested doing the procedure using Yang’s 4-month-old Rivian R1T pickup truck as a backup power source.

Dr. Christopher Yang

After all, vasectomies don’t require a lot of power – just enough for an electrocautery device. And Yang happened to have an extension cord that was long enough to run from his parking spot to the patient’s room.

“When talking to the patient, we mentioned that we could just reschedule the procedure itself, or, if he was up for it, we could do the vasectomy using power from the truck. And he had a good laugh as well, and we agreed,” Yang told WGLT on Friday.

Rivian’s R1T includes multiple 110v and 12v outlets. Yang said he was a little bit concerned it wasn’t going to enough power, or that it might get interrupted. And he had a backup plan – a handheld cautery device that’s workable but not as controlled as the powered one.

He didn’t need it. The power held up fine during the 15-20-minute procedure. The truck also powered a small fan in the room, since the A/C was out.

“After we were done, I told his family. We all had a good laugh together too,” Yang said.

Yang has had his Rivian truck since May. Until now, Yang’s biggest R1T adventure was a long road trip to Colorado, where they drove around Pikes Peak.

“I’m not sure that this (vasectomy) should be planned use of the truck,” Yang joked, “but it’s definitely great to have that as a backup just in case.”

Rivian vehicles are made at its Normal manufacturing plant, which is McLean County’s second-largest employer. Production began a year ago.

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Ryan Denham is the content director for WGLT and WCBU.
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