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Closer look at Rivian’s R1T all-electric pickup truck and why I ordered it

Following the unveiling of the Rivian R1T all-electric pickup truck, we took a closer look at what is becoming one of the most anticipated EVs scheduled to come out in the next two years.

Here’s a ton of pictures, videos, and GIFs of the Rivian R1T, and why I ordered one.

As we already reported, the R1T’s specs are unbelievable.

It’s equipped with 4 electric motors, each a 147 kW power capacity at the wheel, while the total power output can be configured to different levels from 300 kW to 562 kW (input to gearbox).

The different power levels match different choices of battery packs, which are another impressive feature since they have the highest capacity of any other passenger electric vehicle out there: 105 kWh, 135 kWh, and 180 kWh.

Rivian says that it will translate to “230+ miles, 300+ miles, and 400+ miles” of range on a full charge.

They’re talking about a charge rate of up to 160 kW at fast-charging stations and an 11-kW onboard charger for level 2 charging.

The entire powertrain is fitted on a slick modular skateboard platform for the different battery capacity:

If this thing can really deliver the specs that Rivian is promising, the vehicle is likely to be a success, but the powertrain is only one part of it.

The Rivian R1T is a utility vehicle and it has some great utility features – most of them unique in an electric vehicle.

First of all, the truck is a 5-seater and it has a ton of enclosed storage space. The frunk is absolutely huge and Rivian also designed another storage space behind the back seat called a “gear tunnel”:

You can actually sit or stand on the door of the gear tunnel when it’s open and it gives you great access to the roof, which can be fitted with different roof racks.

It still leaves plenty of room for the cabin and it doesn’t seem to affect the bed too much — though the size of the bed appears to be the most criticized feature so far.

At 1,400 mm (55 inches) with the tailgate up, it is indeed a little short for some applications, but it features another storage compartment which could fit a full-size spare wheel.

Here’s a quick look at the Rivian R1T’s bed:

What the R1T lacks in bed size, it can make up in towing capacity with a trailer weight rating of 5,000 kg – that’s 11,000 lbs.

Like any towing capable vehicle, electric or not, it will certainly affect the range and we don’t have the exact efficiency ratings on that yet, but the versions with higher energy capacities should still have decent range with something in tow.

There are also outlets to plug power tools or charge other equipment in the bed of the truck.

As for the vehicle’s charge port, it is equipped with a regular CCS plug hidden in the front passenger side:

Rivian says that it will have a charging capacity of 160 kW, which is going to be able to add approximately 200 miles of range in around 30 minutes of charging.

The interior of the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck is also simple and feels premium:

Here are a few more pictures of the Rivian R1T all-electric pickup truck:

Electrek’s Take

I decided to place a reservation, which requires a $1,000 refundable deposit.

If Rivian can deliver on those promised specs at that price, I think this will be a great product. It even sounds a little too good to be true, but I want to believe right now.

I wasn’t sure about the design when I first saw the pictures, but after seeing the truck in person, I am comfortable with it.

The headlights were my biggest concerns, but they look OK in person and I feel like they could eventually grow on me:

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe told me that they are aware that it is a polarizing feature, but they think it will be a signature feature for the brand.

I think I would have preferred a horizontal setup, but I can get over it.

At any rate, the design is not the most important thing with a pickup truck, but I think they nailed it with the R1T.

At $69,000 before incentives for the base model, I think it’s a great value, but I think I would want the 135 kWh version and they haven’t confirmed the price on that model yet.

Therefore, I still need more details in terms of pricing, but I think it could be reasonable.

I’d also want to drive the truck before transferring my reservation into an order, but I think it’s going to be a ton of fun.

RJ showed me a video of what they call “tank mode” which used the torque from the 4 motors distributed to each wheel to turn the truck on itself.

It looks awesome. Of course, you are only supposed to do that off-road unless you want to melt your tires.

We are going to keep a close look at Rivian over the next two years as they try to bring the vehicle to production.

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