The dawn of the electric pickup truck is upon us, as Rivian has just unveiled their take on the segment in the R1T, which has been dubbed an ‘Electric Adventure Vehicle’ with a range of more than 400 miles (643 km) and enough room to seat five adult passengers comfortably.
“I started Rivian to deliver products that the world didn’t already have – to redefine expectations through the application of technology and innovation. Starting with a clean sheet, we have spent years developing the technology to deliver the ideal vehicle for active customers. This means having great driving dynamics on any surface on- or off-road, providing cargo solutions to easily storing any type of gear whether it’s a surf board or a fishing rod and, very importantly, being capable of driving long distances on a single charge,” stated company founder and CEO, Rj Scaringe.
Aside from having room for 5, the R1T also packs and integrated, watertight bed, and has a large 350 liter (12.3 cu.ft) front truck (frunk). There’s even more storage room beneath the rear-seat floor, as well as underneath the bed floor (200 liters / 7 cu.ft), while the lockable gear tunnel offers a significant amount of cargo capacity if you’re looking to fit longer items such as skis, a snowboard, tent, stroller or perhaps golf clubs.
Jack of all trades, master of all
The R1T is much more than just an eco-friendly pickup truck. Its quad-motor system sends 147 kW of torque to each wheel, resulting in a grand total of 14,000 Nm (10,325 lb-ft) of torque for the entire vehicle (3,500 Nm of grounded torque per wheel).
Buyers can choose between three different battery pack configurations: 105 kWh, 135 kWh and 180 kWh, all of which capable of maxing you out at 125 mph (201 km/h). Range also differs between the three, with the latter offering 400+ miles (643+ km), the mid-spec one 300+ miles (482+ km) and the entry-level one a good 230+ miles (370+ km). The fastest model can accelerate to 60mph (96km/h) in just 3.0 seconds.
“The beauty and elegance of our quad-motor setup isn’t just about brute power; this architecture provides instantaneous torque with extremely precise control at each wheel, which is completely game-changing from a dynamics perspective, both on- and off-road,” stated executive director of engineering and programs, Mark Vinnels.
You can achieve approximately 200 miles (321 km) of range in just 30 minutes of charging, thanks to the battery’s fast charging function. Also, there’s an 11 kW onboard charger that’s meant to facilitate rapid charging at a Level 2 charger.
Rugged yet modern
According to Rivian, the R1T was designed to communicate strength, while also featuring a modern stance, acknowledging the performance and technology integrated into the vehicle. The R1T boasts short overhangs, high ground clearance and aggressive approach and departure angles, all courtesy of Rivian’s unique ‘Skateboard’ platform, which packages the battery pack, drive units, suspension, braking and thermal system below the height of the wheel.
Also interesting is the design of the lighting units, where you have signature ‘stadium’ headlights out in front, working alongside a horizontal daytime running light strip, extending the entire width of the vehicle, much like the taillights.
As for the interior, Rivian says that’s a premium environment, that just happens to invite rugged, daily use. Materials used throughout include sustainably sourced wood, whereas high-wear areas of the cabin feature durable and innovative materials that can be easily cleaned.
Of course, you can’t build a modern fully-electric pickup truck without having it offer its passengers high levels of connectivity and safety. Rivian’s connected car platform operates on a high-speed Ethernet backbone, allowing for over-the-air software updates. There’s also a cloud-ecosystem for data exchange.
The in-vehicle experience also consists of a 15.6-inch touch screen infotainment display, working with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 6.8-inch rear touchscreen display.
When the R1T launches, it will feature a “robust hardware suit” reliant on camera sensors, radar, lidar, ultrasonic and a high precision GPS coupled with high definition maps. The truck will have ‘Level 3’ autonomy for highway operation, whereas city and off-road driving will be facilitated by a range of self-driving features.
How much is it?
Pricing for the R1T starts at $61,500 after Federal Tax credit, with first deliveries arriving in late 2020. Rivian will initially produce fully-equipped versions first, with the 180 kWh and 135 kWh models available at launch. The base variant will arrive about a year later.
*Live images from the LA Auto Show have been added below