Rivian R1T Electric Adventure Pickup: Video

E. Rivian_R1T_Rack copy II

So, this is what the future might look like — at least, that's what the folks at electric vehicle company Rivian believe. Rivian made a big splash at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show with a pair of electric trucks: the RT1 pickup and RS1 SUV. They use the same modular platform, and there's nothing keeping Rivian from making other longer or shorter variations off the same platform down the road.

Related: More 2018 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

We had a chance to get up close with the R1T to study some of its unique features and capabilities, which we share in the video below, but we really won't know how much of this is vaporware or ready for primetime until we get behind the wheel and do some long-term testing.

Interestingly, Rivian is marketing this large (and heavy) mid-size player as a tow vehicle with a max tow rating of 11,000 pounds, which is clearly in the heart of the three-quarter-ton pickup class. However, we couldn't help but notice there wasn't an integrated trailer brake controller. When we queried a Rivian engineer about that, he didn't miss a beat. "Oh, we've integrated that into the media control system ... when you plug in the trailer at the hitch, it automatically takes a piece of the massive nav screen for the touch-sensitive controller bar," he said.

There's plenty to like about the Rivian RT1, but we've also got a few quibbles: We wish the truck offered an extended cab so that buyers could get a longer bed; the five-lug pattern on the axles does not communicate strength or big payload numbers; it has big payload numbers but Rivian isn't making a big deal about it; and hiding the spare tire under the bed floor tells us Rivian doesn't expect its buyers to carry much cargo, ever. At least, we wouldn't want to have a bed full of gravel when we got a flat.

Cars.com photo by Mark Williams

 

 

 


Comments

The looks aren't ideal but I love the idea. I'm pulling for them. There needs to be an EV/battery break though in the pickup market. The pickup market doesn't need an EV pickup with ludicrous mode or blazing 0 to 60mph times. It needs tow/haul capability with a range anxiety answer. I fear the tow range anxiety solution is trailer manufacturers building EV specific models where batteries are loaded in the trailer chassis and that makes EV trailer towing expensive.

But too many unanswered questions for the Rivian RT1. Too many EV concepts appear and quickly fade away as the company goes broke. Fingers crossed but I'm not holding my breath.

@Ken

Notice Mr Williams in the photo wearing what looks like a wool sport coat in Los Angeles---that's how cold the prospects for EV are in the US, something you addressed in your comment.

American elites have been trying to choose our path for quite a while with cars (and energy) without acknowledging that consumers have the ultimate say-so. Without buy-in from the public this stuff goes cold pretty fast.

Even when gas prices were high 10 years ago, the feds (and many states) believed that hybrids and EVs would not catch on unless there were big subsidies and set-asides (reserved lanes on the urban interstates for example) for these cars.

How did that do? Not very well. Even today, after these products have standardized on a few successful platforms, i.e., Toyota, they still don't sell very well; the public seems to prefer big SUVs and pickups.

At a time when autos are struggling to sell and GM is killing off the Volt and Cruze, Tesla 3 sales continue to grow, aside from November's monthly number. There is EV demand and once EV volume achieves terminal velocity, government subsidies will be unnecessary. Of course, the economy could always become a headwind. In any event, EV is the future including big SUVs and pickups.

We'll see what happens. I'll believe it when I see them in the wild on a regular basis.

One must be able to charge them, overnight, which means no matter the battery pack size, in order to replace the traditional vehicle, it has to charge quickly.
The problem with that is not just the grid infrastructure and generating capacity, but the service to every residence.
The safest and fastest charge would be a 3-phase Charger, but nearly all homes don’t have 3-phase service. It is very expensive, so most folks will need to upgrade their normal service to accommodate the charging requirements.
EVs maybe the future, but the logistical hurdles are proving to be mountains to overcome

@james

great points re infrastructure.

Something often not addressed in these discussions is the cost of de-commissioning the vast global oil-economy infrastructure.

Oil exploration & discovery, drilling and transportation, oil refining, marketing and shipment, along with retail operations represent trillions of dollars in global investment.

It won't be easily unplugged. To date, the interest in EV and other alternatives to fossil fuel vehicles is conversational.

The gritty business of shifting to another scheme has not been accepted by the consumer with sufficient enthusiasm to justify erasing trillions of dollars worth of fossil fuel infrastructure.

What happens when you have a natural disaster and the power is out for weeks? Also the electric grid is very vulnerable.

"What happens when you have a natural disaster and the power is out for weeks? Also the electric grid is very vulnerable." ~Jim

Excellent points.

I'm going to guess... $135k... Well beyond the reach of your average consumer.


What happens when you have a natural disaster and the power is out for weeks? Also the electric grid is very vulnerable.
Posted by: Jim | Dec 2, 2018
/QUOTE

Better have one of these and some solar panels on the roof

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Powerwall

Notice Mr Williams in the photo wearing what looks like a wool sport coat in Los Angeles---that's how cold the prospects for EV are in the US, something you addressed in your comment.

American elites have been trying to choose our path for quite a while with cars (and energy) without acknowledging that consumers have the ultimate say-so. Without buy-in from the public this stuff goes cold pretty fast.

Even when gas prices were high 10 years ago, the feds (and many states) believed that hybrids and EVs would not catch on unless there were big subsidies and set-asides (reserved lanes on the urban interstates for example) for these cars.

How did that do? Not very well. Even today, after these products have standardized on a few successful platforms, i.e., Toyota, they still don't sell very well; the public seems to prefer big SUVs and pickups.


Posted by: papajim |
/QUOTE

LOL
What cave are you living,hiding in?
Tesla has half a milion orders from customer waiting for their evs..

Its low cost of driving not even the best diesel can come close

Real life cost of electric juice driving Tesla for 1000 miles..12$

https://youtu.be/_druzFXjZAc

I bet the EV trucks will outsell all ICE powered ones soon its available

None of this stuff sells without subsidies.

Without big federal and state subsidies Mr Musk and his cars would never have gotten off the ground (unless he was offering some electric brownies too...).

There isn't any doubt that Musk really put it together in a smart way, but apart from a few places in the US, his cars are still an oddity.

Despite gas-guzzler taxes and other forms of 'punishment' Ford still sold almost a million pickups last year.

Ditto GM. Not even counting big SUVs.

Wait until the subsidies dry up then watch what sells the best.

In a natural disaster gasoline is almost always the first consumable store to be gone. The other point is very few households would do well with their ONLY or ALL of their vehicles being EVs. But an EV makes EXCELLENT sense in a 2 or 3 car household. This is coming. Maybe at a snails pace and maybe not via Rivian but it is coming. Once a range of 250 or more has been reliably met and with one not relying solely on an EV the infrastructure issues drop dramatically. If youre driving more than its range in a single day you take the other vehicle. Its that simple. All modes and methods of charging will continue to expand and improve and a healthy market driven by consumer demand will cause a more rapid expansion of it.

EVs aren't going away... actually their sales will only continue to expand. The issue is when.

Just drove back from Sacramento in a Volt. I thought a nice sedan, and we never stopped for gas. My friend loves it because he never gets gas during the week. So why is GM dropping it from their line. We drove ~250miles round trip from San Jose, Ca

We ran the yearly Sacramento Capitol Bldg marathon, and I'm retiring because 3:28:20 is way too slow for me (52yrs) and no more fun! Anyway, I guess Tesla is eating everyone's lunch and the rational for a Tesla owner is just recharge at night, when they go from anywhere in the San Francisco bay area, and up to Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. But 240miles up to 7200' for Lake Tahoe seems a bit of a stretch for the non-existent $35k Tesla model.

I think Obama kept GM alive partly because of the Volt. It's all anyone's guess with all these competing technologies, and ICE I don't think is going to go quietly in the night.

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Mike S. Go away. Get off the couch. Go out for a nice walk or a run.



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