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The all-electric Rivian R1T actually looks pretty cool

Jeff Glucker November 27, 2018 Cars You Should Know 15 Comments

An all-electric truck is both a smart idea and a technological hurdle that seems exceedingly high. A startup based in Michigan thinks it can make the leap and bring an electron-sipping pickup to market. The company is called Rivian and its electric truck is called the R1T.

And it actually looks and sounds pretty cool.

As you might expect on a vehicle like this, the chassis is of the battery packed skateboard variety. That’s good for future body style changes if the tech underneath works just fine. It’s that tech that certainly sounds promising, if not equally ambitious. Each wheel is powered by a 147kW motor. Rivian will fit a 180 kWh battery pack and it says that this will be good for a massive 400-mile range. Additionally, with that pack ing four drive units, the R1T can easily torque vector as needed, rip off a claimed three-second 0-60 mph blast, or two up to 11,000 pounds.

Even more surprising is that Rivian claim a DC Fast Charger will only need 20 minutes to supply enough juice for 100 to 150 miles of range.

There’s smart engineering going on all over this thing, and it’s not simply related to the battery and motor tech. Behind the seating space is an exterior covered storage compartment, just between the cab and the bed. You can fit skis or a snowboard in here, and the storage cover also doubles as a seat. That’s perfect for lacing up your snowboard boots.

Inside the cabin, the R1T goes full on luxury truck. There’s lovely wood and leather-looking materials found throughout the space and it’s paired with modern oversized screens. This is old meets new in a smart, stylish way. But there’s a focus on the work needs of a truck as well. The floors are made of a strong rubber. Rivian knows a truck owner will get mud on their boots, and this interior space can tackle that.

Underneath, Rivian have fitted high-strength skid plates for serious underbody protection. Additionally, the R1T can venture into three-foot water crossings and keep on chugging.

 

The plan is to offer two models at launch; the 180 kWh version and an entry-level 250-mile range 135 kWh truck. It won’t be cheap, of course, with an entry level price tag of $69,000. Apply the $7,500 federal tax credit and that dips to $61,500. Really though, that’s right around the amount full-size pickup builders are charging for their higher-spec luxe trucks.

It will be quite interesting to see if Rivian can truly deliver on the range promises. Should that turn out to be true, the R1T will make for an interesting prospect for pickup buyers. Especially when Rivian eventually produces a less expensive fleet version.

  • Sjalabais

    This looks amazing, inside out. Two things though…it’s awesome that the EV trend seems to open up the car world to new companies with new approaches. But why do they tend to have such humungously exaggerated stats – I struggle to believe that everything is true. And they claim to beat much larger companies with giant R&D budgets.

    • Jeff Glucker

      Yep, agreed. The technical side of it leaves me skeptical. But that’s a pretty damn big battery pack.

      • Sjalabais

        First now I realize that this battery is obviously 80% bigger than in a Tesla X P100D. Whoppetty whop.

    • Zentropy

      I agree, this is an amazing concept. But like you, I think it appears too good to be true.

    • smalleyxb122

      Because range, charge speed, and power are all interconnected in an electric car. Basically, if you want a lot of range, you’re also going to have a faster maximum rate of charge, and a faster maximum rate of discharge (more power).

      Basically the answer to every question (except weight) about an electric car is “a bigger battery.” The crazy power numbers are almost a byproduct of the long range and quick charging that the market demands.

    • crank_case

      Electric concepts are the new Chevrolet V8 powered supercar of the vaporware car world.

  • Victor

    Rivian’s financial backers include Saudi auto distributor Abdul Latif Jameel Co (ALJ), Sumitomo Corp of America and Standard Chartered Bank. ALJ has agreed to provide almost $500 million in funding, Sumitomo invested an undisclosed amount, and Standard Chartered provided debt financing of $200 million.

  • Batshitbox

    Packard Super Eights had a similar ‘golf bag door’. It was pretty popular on other makes, too.

    • Also an option on the Mirage Cadillac pickup conversion.

    • Vairship

      As opposed to the clearly much more useful mother-in-law seat of the 1923 Kissel Goldbug:

  • With a flat floor they shoud rethink the interior with a split-bench seat option front and back. Otherwise the price/performance estimates are amazing…a real sport truck. I hope it works out and doesn’t become another Elio. Is that a real prototype or a rendering?

  • P161911

    This might be an idea that goes along with the Envoy XUV and the Avalanche, but I have an idea for a modular pick up truck/SUV. This EV skateboard chassis would be perfect for it. The base model is the two door truck cab and front row of seats with a rear wall and a flat bed/stake bed or regular 8′ truck bed behind that. The idea is that the rear wall and everything back is a removable unit. Option #1 would be to add two rear doors and a rear row of seats along with a shorter bed unit. Option #2 would be to add a full SUV back in place of the bed on the rear two door unit. This would add another row of seats and a fully enclosed cargo area. All rear seats could be removable for an almost cargo van like use. The idea is that all of these go together with quick connect fasteners and just one electrical connection for lights, airbags, etc. There would be a rack to store the extra modules either at home or at the dealership for a small fee.

    • outback_ute

      Interesting idea – I like the idea of a do-it-all flexibile vehicle, as long as there is the understanding that it will be jack of all trades, master of none. In other words, there will be compromises.

      Here is the R1S SUV version of the Rivian.

  • ptschett

    A pickup truck with a taillight across the tailgate?
    …do these people know what pickup trucks are for? Evidently not?

    • Vairship

      I think this is presented as a “lifestyle vehicle”, not a work truck. I.e. more F-150 King Ranch or Platinum, neither of which will have anything other than IKEA furniture in the bed in real life or will ever so much as see a dirt road.
      Really it’s a modern-day Lincoln Blackwood, which would probably be a great sales success today.