We all know that Tesla is working on a burly pickup truck to add to its electric vehicle family, but it isn’t the only company that is looking to take on the titans in the industry. Rivian, a U.S.-based automotive startup, is hoping to turn a few heads with its new R1T. This is a mid-sized pickup that would compare favorably in size and capacity against the likes of the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon and the upcoming Ford Ranger.
What’s most mind-boggling about the R1T is its alleged specs. Being that this is an electric vehicle, it will come from the factory with standard all-wheel drive thanks to there being a drive motor attached to each wheel. In addition, there will be three battery packs available for customers: 105 kWh, 135 kWh and 180 kWh providing 230 miles, 300 miles and 400 miles of range respectively.
All three battery options should provide customers with enough range to get through a day’s worth of commuting (and hauling) without having to worry about being left stranded on the side of the road. However, the 400-mile range afforded by the range-topping 180 kWh battery option should really squash any concerns about range anxiety.
As for performance, the R1T again is looking phenomenal — at least on paper. The 105-kWh version will pump out a total of 400 horsepower, while the mid-range options cranks that up considerably to 700 horsepower. Opt for the 180-kWh battery and you’ll have an astounding 750 horsepower at your command. This version of the truck is said to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds flat.
In addition to the bodacious performance numbers, the flexibility of its EV architecture allows for some rather innovative (for a truck) storage options. There is a capacious “frunk” where the gasoline/diesel engine would normally be in a conventional pickup. In addition, there’s also a large pass-through storage space behind the rear cabin of the vehicle and ahead of the bed. It is accessible from either side of the vehicle. Finally, there’s another compartment under the bed — like the Honda Ridgeline — that houses the spare tire (or other gear if you like to live dangerously).
We’re not exactly sold on the looks of the R1T, but it’s not in any way offensive. It’s distinctive in a “sterile” kind of way for a pickup truck. And we haven’t even gotten to the price tag, which is enormous. Rivian says that the R1T will start at $69,000 before any applicable state/federal tax credits/rebates. That is more than twice the starting price of mid-size pickups from Toyota, Ford and General Motors.
We also can’t discount the fact that we’re dealing with a new startup that doesn’t have the reputation or track record of a company like Tesla. And even though the R1T can travel up to 400 miles on a charge, there’s no nationwide fast-charging network available (yet) like Tesla’s Supercharger infrastructure. And Visions of Faraday Future’s implosion are still fresh in our mind.
In the end, the Rivian R1T definitely looks good on paper, but the actual execution of this monster EV pickup is what everyone will be watching in the coming years.