Rivian: This Electric Truck is Growing on Me

Have you heard of the Rivian R1T? If you are dreaming of an electric pick up truck, but are stuck driving an electric granny mobile (or luxury sedan) instead, don't worry, you don't have to wait for Tesla. Rivian, a Michigan-based start up, is planning to release their new R1T full-sized pickup truck at the end of 2020.

Great, I can almost hear you groan. Another "coming soon" promise of an electric vehicle that may or may not materialize! But this one I think will actually make it into production.

(Bear in mind that I'm usually wrong about this. You have always been able to safely bet against my predictions. Or...maybe I'm getting the hang of odds making by this time. Hard to say.)

Why do I think Rivian's electric truck is going to make it to market?  Well, for starters...because Jonny Smith (Fully Charged) fell in love with it instantly at the LA Auto Show last year.  He was practically levitating by the end of a short walkaround. Watch.

What the Boys Really Want

...are pickup trucks. Lots and lots of pickup trucks.

Statista says that light truck (the industry term for 'pickup') sales in the US for 2018 were - all together - 2,918,785 units. Most of them were Ford's F-series trucks.

(By comparison? Green Tech Media says US electric car sales for 2018 were - all together - 361,307 units.)

Who is buying all these light trucks? 

Mostly men (16% women, 84% men). Mostly white (75%). They live mostly in large and medium-sized cities, despite the cutely rural Marlboro-man-themed advertising; and their household income is 80k+.

I'm not sure what itch is being scratched here at 35k apiece and up...but one thing is for sure: LEAF and Tesla are not cutting the mustard for all the city-dwelling would-be Marlboro men. (I guess electric cars really ARE for girls after all: )

So Rivian said: Hey, why not give the guys what they are asking for? Well, except better, because we CAN; and more affordable than most of Tesla's lineup at only 70k each. 

Rivian's Electric Truck Features

400 mile range. Because enormous freaking battery pack - 180 kwh for their largest option. Holy guacamole.

4 motors. One for each axle, 200 hp each. Allows for the grippiest of grips on the slippiest of terrains with those fully articulating wheels and 14k nm of torque. Makes me want to get all muddy, how about you?

Low center of gravity. Like all electric carmakers with any sense, Rivian put the batteries down low. This is exactly what you want when you're using the individually controlled motors and all that torque to scramble your way up the side of a mountain like a goat to your generally inaccessible campsite. Keeps the rubber side down. 

0-60 in 3 seconds. Here is where the civilized veneer begins to slip a little and the true colors show through, right? Bring it, Silverado!

11k lb. towing capacity. You know, in case you're out there in the back of beyond and you need to pull a small planet out of the road, which...well, I live in Oregon. These sort of things happen here. You handle it and get back to your adventure.

1760 lb. payload. Respectable. Not remarkable.

Awesome frunk. I am SO with the folks who think it would make a fine hot tub.

That gear tunnel. There's a lockable cabinet behind the cab that runs the width of the electric truck itself, accessible from the outside, handy for throwing your skis in. The doors on either end of the gear tunnel drop down and make a seat or a step for you to reach the roof of the truck easily to access the luggage or the canoe.

The truck bed has a lockable cover. And 110v plug-ins. And the tailgate folds down and has steps that pop out which you can use to climb up into the bed. And an air compressor you can use for the air mattresses and inflatable sharks and whatnot. How cool is this??

Let's walk around to the front, shall we?

Stadium lights. You can't miss the look of that grill! The headlights look like little stadium lights. The SOC (state of charge) lights up green across the front, so you can be sitting across the street having lunch at the bistro and watching your electric truck filling up with charge.

High strength steel on the outside, kevlar and carbon fiber underneath. To protect the passengers and the battery pack. 5 star crash safety rating. The battery pack compartment is fully sealed, so splash away.

Speaking of wading. Your new Rivian electric truck will wade through 3 feet of water (at least). It is fully sealed, it could wade through more theoretically, but that's the point at which it starts to float when empty.

I don't know if I've missed something, there are a lot of features...but this Oregonian electric car girl is appreciating the outdoor possibilities of this fully electric truck.

Gotta Have One?

I know, right? Same here.

If you need one of these as soon as possible, you can just hop on over to the Rivian website, lay down your thousand dollars, and be (among the) first in line when they start delivering them in late 2020.

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