Rivian is one of a handful of EV startups that look likely to challenge Tesla’s dominance. After working silently for many years, the company has finally revealed its first pair of electric vehicles, the R1T electric truck and R1S SUV. Rivian has positioned its vehicles as the best for adventuring.
The two models have a lot in common, but what can people who have made pre-orders expect from Rivian’s first attempt?
If you watched Jeff Bezos’ flight to space, you would have seen some Rivian trucks in action. They were used to convey the astronauts and personnel and also used to prepare a meal!
The range is one of the most crucial aspects of an electric vehicle because it determines how far you can drive before you stop for a charge. We will look at this first.
Battery & range
The battery is one of the many things the SUV and truck have in common. They will get a 135 kWh battery that Rivian says is good for 316 miles on a single charge on the SUV and 314 miles on the truck. This range will be enough for most people, as it more than covers the distance an average driver goes daily.
However, for people that need more, Rivian has promised a larger pack of 180 kWh that will deliver a range of 400 miles per charge. Interestingly, Rivian also promises a battery that delivers 250 miles for people that do not need as much.
Electric motor & performance
Rivian is mounting an electric motor on each of both the SUV and truck. This motor placement enables all-wheel-drive for off-road capabilities and a Tank Turn function that makes the vehicle spin on its axis, a nice way to quickly and easily change direction.
Combined, the electric motors produce up to 800 hp, enabling the vehicle to leap from 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds.
You will be able to adjust the ground clearance with the help of air suspension.
The SUV and truck will join an exclusive club of electric vehicles that are certified for towing. Here, the two vehicles differ in capabilities; the SUV will tow about 7700 pounds with a payload capacity of 1800 pounds while the truck can pull more at 11,000 pounds but has a slightly lower payload capacity of 1760 pounds.
Note: Towing with any of these electric vehicles will deplete the battery faster and reduce the range significantly.
Here, there are similarities as well but a major difference is the optional third-row seat, which the truck cannot include for obvious reasons.
As Rivian is marketing the pair of vehicles as the perfect adventure machines, it has designed the cabin hoping that occupants will spend lots of time inside. From the lush finishing to plush heated seats and steering, it is comfortable and relaxing.
The touchscreen center display where you can access controls blends well with the dashboard. If you prefer a roofless experience, Rivian promises you a removable roof option in 2022. You will also get a couple of USB outlets for charging your phones.
As a bonus, you can remove a Bluetooth speaker from the immersive Rivian Elevation audio system to continue enjoying your music outside the vehicle. Panoramic roof is standard on one of the trims.
On the SUV, you can get up to 108 cubic feet of storage and even store more on the roof with Rivian custom Cargo Crossbars. On the truck, you will get 68 cubic feet, with more in the truck bed. It also has an innovative Gear Tunnel just behind the cabin where you can stuff more load.
There is a standard Driver+ package that lets you do hands-free driving, automatic steering and speed adjust, automatic lane change, etc. However, you are still required to be in control. There is even an in-cabin camera that monitors your attentiveness.
There is also automatic emergency braking and alerts for vehicles in your blind spot.
Rivian promises to update the system over-the-air
Remember the cooking done with Rivian trucks? It was courtesy of the Camp Kitchen that slides out of the Gear Tunnel. This nifty feature will allow you to dazzle with your chef skills even in remote locations.
The SUV starts at $70,000 for the Explore Package and $75,500 for the Adventure Package and Launch Edition. The truck is a bit less expensive, starting at $67,500 for the Explore Package and $73,000 for the Adventure Package and Launch Edition
Rivian will face completion from Ford F-150 Lightning, Tesla Cybertruck, GMC Hummer EV, Chevrolet Silverado EV, etc.