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New Rivian video showcases its electric trucks’ camping credentials

Cooking in the Wild

Rivian is far from the only startup developing high-end electric vehicles. But instead of a sports car or luxury sedan, Rivian decided to build a pickup truck and SUV with genuine off-road capability. What do you do with that kind of vehicle? You take it camping, of course.

A video released by Rivian shows the company’s R1T pickup truck being used for exactly that. It shows that the R1T has plenty of room for camping gear, including a bed-mounted tent. Rivian has also developed a portable camp kitchen that fits into the storage cubby built into the side of R1T’s bed. Sporting drawers for pots and pans, aswell as an electric range to cook on, the camp kitchen slides out of the side of the vehicle. It’s unclear if this accessory will be available when the R1T launches, however.

The R1T’s ample cargo space is due in part to its design. Rivian used a “skateboard” chassis that houses the battery pack, electric motors, and suspension, meaning none of those components intrude into the body. The R1T has a front trunk — like a Tesla — as well as a storage compartment where the transmission tunnel would normally be. Rivian also plans to sell the R1S, which will use the same chassis as the R1T, but with a seven-seat SUV body.

Rivian will offer the R1T with three battery-pack sizes: 180 kilowatt-hours, 135 kWh, and 105 kWh. The 180-kWh pack will offer the most range (400 miles, according to Rivian), but the 135-kWh pack will offer the quickest acceleration (0 to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds). All versions will have an electronically limited top speed of 125 mph. Rivian also claims a maximum towing capacity of 11,000 pounds, which is substantially more than the midsize trucks the R1T most closely resembles in size.

All of that capability won’t come cheap. The R1T has a base price of $69,000, and Rivian is taking $1,000 refundable deposits for the truck. The company plans to begin deliveries in late 2020, starting with the 180-kWh and 135 kWh- models. Rivian previously said the 105-kWh R1T will follow within 12 months of the start of production.

Electric-vehicle startup failures are numerous, but Rivian does have a few things going for it. The company has already secured a former Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois, to build the R1T and R1S. It has also attracted the attention of some big players. Amazon will invest $700 million in Rivian, while Ford has confirmed a $500 million invest. Ford will also use Rivian’s “skateboard” chassis for one of its own electric vehicles.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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