Spied: 2020 Rivian Electric Pickup Truck Platform

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It's not uncommon to see electric pickup truck makers pull and borrow from existing pickups when trying to disguise their own styling design exercises when doing real-world testing. Often, their nontraditional looks can become a dead giveaway to any casual observers. So many tend to use current-gen bodies to test their platforms and chassis test units.

One such electric pickup company gaining more traction lately is Rivian, which recently hired a Subaru public relations expert. We'll see if that kind of magic can work twice. From the looks of the body, Rivian is keeping it relatively small with a small bed, SuperCab-length wheelbase and four-corner coils, and a fairly low center of gravity; there are good-sized brakes, too. (However, for next time, we'd recommend going to a six- or eight-lug axle, not use bald tires for testing, and provide some place to hook the trailer chains.) Here's what our spy shooter sent us.

"This is an electric pickup truck mule for the Michigan-headquartered startup Rivian.

"Rivian has previously said it would release a line of vehicles by the end of 2019, with the first models being previewed this November at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This early mule version of their proposed pickup truck uses a "stand-in" Ford F-150 body over Rivian's skateboard-like electric propulsion system. A charging cable on the front quarter panel and body height give it away as an electric vehicle.

"Along with an SUV, Rivian says its vehicles will offer ranges between 200 and 400 miles on a charge, also with off-road capabilities. The company plans to build them in the former Mitsubishi assembly plant in Illinois. Research and development is currently being conducted in Plymouth, Mich., while battery technology is being developed in Irvine, Calif.

"If things go as planned, expect an on-sale date near the end of 2019 as a 2020 model."

SpiedBilde Photography images

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Comments

U would think they may have used a smaller vehicle like a Colorado to start with, (second to last pic)...looks like some serious weight on that front tire. Electric trucks will come and start with smaller ones for parts runners, flower delivery etc. Full size will also come.

THE FUTURE IS HERE!!! FORD NUMBER ONE SECOND TO NONE.

Nup. Won't happen. Not even by 2022. Unless Tesla does it, they have other pans in the fire to deal with. Ford and Toyota will have their own hybrid trucks around 2020 though.

THE FUTURE IS HERE!!! FORD NUMBER ONE SECOND TO NONE.


Posted by: Chingon | Sep 14, 2018 10:43:09 AM


You got that all wrong.

They chose the Ford because most of them will need a drive train upgrade in 5 years.

Great opportunity to retrofit all those dead eco-boosts down the road.

:)

andrwken you are dead brain sorry but no battery can help you.

andrwken you are dead brain sorry but no battery can help you.


Posted by: JoBlow | Sep 14, 2018 12:33:24 PM

he's a bum.

andrwken you are dead brain sorry but no battery can help you.


Posted by: JoBlow | Sep 14, 2018 12:33:24 PM

he's a bum.

Its interesting. Definitely not for off road use in this configuration but probably excellent road manners/handling. Could have big appeal as a fleet/delivery vehicle. Looking forward to more info.

I love the idea of an electric truck. Electric motors can be more reliable because they are soo much more simple than a typical engine/drivetrain in todays vehicles. Think about it. You take the entire engine, transmission, differentials, and replace it with a battery and electric motors. Would be great for off-road having each wheel driven completely independent. Aside from the battery you'd save a lot of the cost and a lot of the weight too. As a golfer I just think of electric golf carts. Aside from the batteries they are totally better than gas-driven. Practically zero maintenance and extremely reliable and long lasting.

It all hinges on the batteries. Battery tech has come a long ways, but the battery technology for an affordable electric vehicle just isn't here yet. However, with the promises that some researchers are making about solid state batteries an AFFORDABLE electric truck could be here before long.

I wonder what engine sound track will be played through the speakers.

Garbage motors


I wonder what engine sound track will be played through the speakers.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Sep 14, 2018

"It all hinges on the batteries. Battery tech has come a long ways, but the battery technology for an affordable electric vehicle just isn't here yet. However, with the promises that some researchers are making about solid state batteries an AFFORDABLE electric truck could be here before long."

Posted by: beebe | Sep 14, 2018 1:35:16 PM
--

I'd argue that the battery tech is already here. Obviously Tesla, Chevy (Bolt and Volt), and others are using tech available today to power their vehicles and give customers usability that they demand. I'd argue that the tech that needs improving for trucks is the materials of the body and the customer. Workhorse is making their W-15 with steal chassis and composite body with Carbon Fiber which should counteract some of the weight the batteries add.

Everyone seems to keep mentioning the affordability and I am right there with them. However, the older I get, the more I seem to be priced out of "affordable" trucks. Clearly, there are many buyers out there paying $50k+ for trucks. I dont think these manufacturers will have a hard time selling an electric truck for that money plus some.

NO GUTS

NO GLORY

DUMBER THAN A ROCK

CHINGON

Don't need a big expensive battery.
Just take away the transmission and put a generator there.
Then take away the rear end and put electric motors there.
Bingo!
Cheap, reliable. High performing. Efficient, Powerful..

It is a great idea.

Comparing automobiles to rail - the following is a great read
Electrification of U.S. Railways: Pie in the Sky, or Realistic Goal?
Environmental and Energy Study Institute

https://www.eesi.org/articles/view/electrification-of-u.s.-railways-pie-in-the-sky-or-realistic-goal

what happens after a hurricane and the power is out for 2 weeks?

@ beebe


I love the electric propulsion for all the torque benefits, the potential ground clearance designs but would also like to see a locomotive style hybrid at first before the batteries.

@ frank and his 20 aliases

Your too easy. Hooked you without a worm.

I wonder what engine sound track will be played through the speakers.

Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Sep 14, 2018

Probably something similar to the fake V8 sound Ford plays through it’s speakers to augment the ecoboost noise.

Why an electric pick up is still not available is ridiculous. The Model X from Tesla for what it is pulls like a beast. Why Mark Williams have you not taken a Model X and run it up a hill under max load, 5000Lbs pulling a trailer to see what it does.??? Just look at Tesla's semi trucks pulling 80,000Lbs. Imagine a HD pick up version or 1/2 ton. Lets get a glimpse from the Model X under full load and do a take off on cost per mile vs mpg from diesel pulling the same 5000Lbs. All trucks offered today run on the same platform from the 50's, I am tired of them, slower too, then they were 25 years ago, 0-60 performance has gone downhill.

Thomas
I’m guessing the only diesel in the Model X’s sphere of competition would be the midsize GM twins. And they’re both capable of towing over 5K. So your Tesla’s “max load” is a little under the diesel’s. Also, you said:

“All trucks offered today run on the same platform from the 50’s, I’m tired of them, slower too, then they were 25 years ago, 0-60 performance has gone downhill.”

If by “the same platform from the 50’s” you mean body on frame, then your point is loosely made but you really ought to go drive a 1950’s pickup and then immediately get into a 2019 ram or Titan and tell me about how unchanged the platforms are. And as for slower 0-60 times? Dude, what are you smoking?

@Thomas
Have you ever met the PUTC commenter known as "Steve"?

I was hoping to get in touch with you. I cannot reveal my source but I recently learned that (insert POTUS name here) and Mark Williams are the SAME PERSON. Seriously.

Have you ever noticed that you never see T-r-u-m-p and Williams in the same photo? Hmmm.

According to my source, the next Mission: Impossible movie will provide secret clues that reveal the secret relationship between the United Nations and PUTC.

Did you ever wonder why some commenters post under multiple names?

You can be a secret agent too! If you'll publish your personal data on multiple social media sites you'll be getting information about becoming a secret agent. Soon. I promise.

And you can believe me because I'm always right, and I never lie.

Some people just don't understand how expensive those batteries are. Tesla battery packs range from $450 to $650 per kwh. For a pickup with a range of just 200 miles you'd probably need atleast a 75 kwh battery back. That's $33,750 minimum JUST FOR THE BATTERY in a truck that could go 200 miles UNLOADED. And you'd have to replace that battery pack at least once over the typical life of a vehicle.

Posted by: beebe
True, but no oil changes, no spark plugs, no filters, no antifreeze, no trans and diff fluids, no belts, etc. Electric will come...not much need for mechanics or oil change stores or parts stores for those items. Change outs will be for batteries, new motors and tires, switches etc. And with self driving...no lawyers, accidents, body shops, etc. A lot of good here but a lot of no good...electric energy and ways to produce it will become the big thing.

You all are hung up on the battery thing. You don't need a battery for an electric truck.
The "locomotive style" hybrid is the real thing, as others have said here. Locomotives don't have big batteries. They are powered by the diesel engines. This is the way trucks will be driven soon. Electric motors and diesel generators. So you guys are getting hung up on the narrow idea of "electric" trucks.
For some reason, the higher, intelligent discussion of automotive engineering forums just does not reach websites like these much.

@billheadley
I don't believe the locomotive style is as efficient as you think. There are a number of challenges with the "series hybrid" as I believe it is called. You'd still need a very large battery or an even larger than normal engine to instantly generate enough power for acceleration. I believe trains don't use that system because of the efficiency as much as for the reliability and simplicity of the drivetrain.

Neat idea but this truck appears to be worthless for many applications we expect our trucks to be able to do.

Neat idea but this truck appears to be worthless for many applications we expect our trucks to be able to do.

@beebe,
Incorrect. You must be ignorant of all the vehicles that already use this kind of system such as all the Hondas, BMWs, Chevrolets, Mitsubishis, etc.
Ever heard of the Honda Accord?
And many more maintstream vehicles have been announced with this kind of powertrain--using the comustion motor as a generator only.
The whole auto industry is going to be like this.
And you had no idea.

@beebe

I think that "steve" and "billheadly" are the same guy.

The Lord only knows why people think it's some kind of advantage to post under multiple names, unless that's their MO in daily life

Agree with beebe's assessment of the battery technology and the locomotive hybrid technology is use for trucks--the battery technology is just not there yet with the type of batteries being too large and too heavy. Maybe this might be feasible in the future with development of lighter, smaller, and more affordable batteries but that is still a long ways off. The market for the electrified pickup in this market would be mainly for utilities and that is where the improvements will be made with the use and experience. Most individuals will not want to buy this truck because the cost and the infrastructure is just not there yet. I like the simplicity of the electric motors and less maintenance aside from the issues with batteries.

Papajim

Perhaps he’s suffering from some kind of multiple personality disorder?

what happens after a hurricane and the power is out for 2 weeks?

Posted by: Joe | Sep 14, 2018
/ QUOTE

Run a generator?
Or charge from solar panels?
Look up Tesla Powerwall.

Comparing automobiles to rail - the following is a great read
Electrification of U.S. Railways: Pie in the Sky, or Realistic Goal?
Environmental and Energy Study Institute

https://www.eesi.org/articles/view/electrification-of-u.s.-railways-pie-in-the-sky-or-realistic-goal

Posted by: David Robertson | Sep
/QUOTE

I dont see electric trains hapening anytime soon

US is controled by OIL corporations,,they want keep seling people gas and diesel..

Perhaps he’s suffering from some kind of multiple personality disorder?..Posted by: MLS956 | Sep 16, 2018

He sure is making too much of it.

And he may be living in a household where he's not allowed to trash others, or to even express his opinions.

That makes the fellows here at PUTC the perfect target for his ire. They can't yell about it, except with written replies. Anyway, I'll ignore it.

Agree with beebe's assessment of the battery technology and the locomotive hybrid technology is use for trucks--the battery technology is just not there yet with the type of batteries being too large and too heavy. Maybe this might be feasible in the future with development of lighter, smaller, and more affordable batteries but that is still a long ways off. The market for the electrified pickup in this market would be mainly for utilities and that is where the improvements will be made with the use and experience. Most individuals will not want to buy this truck because the cost and the infrastructure is just not there yet. I like the simplicity of the electric motors and less maintenance aside from the issues with batteries.

Posted by: Jeff s | Sep 16,
/QUOTE

Incorect
Look up Workhorse pickup and
Viamotors.com....they have hybrid ev trucks backed by ice range extender charger..

Even pure EV Tesla 4wd gets 300 mile range,,and with over 11.000 Superchargers one can even travel cross country with no problems..
Why cant Big 3 make hybrid EV trucks like that??

I am not saying that GM , Ford, and FCA shouldn't build an electric vehicle but even with a 200 to 300 mile range the infrastructure is not in place along with batteries being very large, heavy, and expensive. Battery technology needs to improve and become more affordable along with infrastructure to support the electric vehicle before it sells in any volume in the mass consumer market. Business and public utility use will give a market to test and improve the technology. i like the simplicity and the less maintenance aspect but for now I would not buy an electric vehicle because of the cost and the lack of infrastructure. I might eventually consider buying an electric vehicle but for now it is not a practical and viable option for me.

In the end, will truck buyers buy an electric truck?
And will the auto cartels make as much money doing that and therefore offer it, bearing in mind their notorious, alleged collusion with the oil industry?



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