Skip to content

Rivian R1T: A Comprehensive Look at the Innovative Electric Pickup Truck

For truck enthusiasts seeking a glimpse into the electric future, the R1T pickup from adventure-focused startup Rivian delivers intriguing possibilities. I’m excited to provide an in-depth look at everything this innovative truck offers. Let’s explore the R1T‘s performance, capabilities, tech details, and outlook.

The Rivian R1T Pickup at a Glance

Before jumping into specs, let’s recap what makes the R1T unique. Rivian designed it as a versatile electric truck ready for both daily commuting and outdoor adventure. With up to 400 miles of range, an adjustable air suspension, and legitimate off-road chops, the R1T redefines expectations.

Rivian took what Tesla did for luxury electric sedans and adapted it to a truck form factor. The R1T promises sports car acceleration, high-tech features, and silent electric operation without compromise on utility.

Some key specs:

  • 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds (quad motor)
  • 11,000 pound tow rating
  • Over 200 miles of range from WLTP testing
  • Wading depth over 3 feet – better than most SUVs
  • Fast charging adds 140 miles in 20 minutes

Now let’s get into the details on this fascinating truck.

Rivian’s Innovative Skateboard Platform Enables Impressive Performance

The R1T rides on Rivian’s unique skateboard-style chassis, called the R1 architecture. By placing the battery pack, drive units, suspension system, and other components inside the wheelbase, Rivian optimized interior space and lower the center of gravity.

Rivian takes advantage of the low center of gravity and sophisticated stability control to deliver sports car-like handling. The R1T can achieve over 0.9 g of max cornering force on the skidpad. For comparison, the Porsche 911 Carrera S manages 1.0 g.

Adjustable air springs allow raising or lowering ride height by 6 inches for improved handling, easy entry/exit, and enhanced off-road clearance.

Battery Packs and Motors Provide Speed and Range

Let’s look under the sheetmetal at the motors, batteries, and other engineering highlights:


  • Large 205 kW front and rear motors
  • Small 150 kW front motors on quad motor variant
  • Robust cooling system maintains performance in tough conditions

Battery Packs

  • Large: 135 kWh
  • Max: 180 kWh
  • Thermal management system keeps cells operating in ideal temp range
  • Low center of gravity from underbody mounting


  • Lightweight aluminum alloy body panels
  • Exposed steel bed capable of supporting 2,200 pounds
  • Underbody armor protects vulnerable components off-road

Performance Specs

Configuration Horsepower Torque (lb-ft) 0-60 mph (sec)
Dual Motor AWD 600 835 4.0
Quad Motor AWD 805 908 3.0

No matter the configuration, the R1T delivers instant acceleration on par with high-end sports cars. The quad motor version outpaces the Tesla Model X Plaid in 0-60 mph runs.

Range and Charging Enable Road Trips Off the Beaten Path

With up to 400 miles of max range, the R1T provides confidence for remote adventures far from charging infrastructure. Rivian’s fast charging network specifically targets locations in national/state parks and other adventurous destinations.

The Rivian Adventure Network will include over 3,500 DC fast chargers at over 600 sites by the end of 2023. Rivian owners will have exclusive access to this network for the first few years before it opens to other EVs. Sites will feature multiple charge points to avoid wait times even during peak periods.

Charging speed is optimized for quick top-ups during road trips:

  • 140 miles of range added in 20 minutes (DC fast charging)
  • Up to 160 miles of range per hour (Level 2 AC charging)
  • 22 miles per hour on Level 2 (240V outlet)
  • 3 miles per hour on Level 1 (120V outlet)

Rivian provides a complimentary charging cable that works across all common outlet types.

Modern, Adventure-Ready Interior Plus Innovative Storage

The R1T‘s 5-seat interior provides comfort and technology for both daily drives and cross-country road trips. Heated and ventilated front seats pair with a spacious rear bench. The clever storage options stand out:

  • Front trunk (frunk) with 11.7 cubic feet of enclosed space
  • Gear tunnel behind rear seats adds 11.1 cubic feet of lockable storage
  • Removable Bluetooth speaker in the gear tunnel enhances adventures
  • Under-seat lockbox for valuables accessible via the rear bench’s fold-down seat

Rivian focused on creating an immersive, relaxed environment through sound deadening materials, acoustic glass, and premium audio. The R1T is tuned to be the perfect road trip platform.

Utilizing Its Skateboard Platform for Optimal Utility

Rivian optimized the R1T’s dimensions to make the most of its compact EV architecture. Let’s look at how this electric pickup provides impressive utility:

  • 4.5 foot steel bed hauls full sheets of plywood
  • 1,760 pound max payload rating
  • 11,000 pound max towing capacity
  • Gear tunnel creates versatile enclosed storage space

The bed includes integrated tie downs and can support up to 2,200 pounds dynamically. A bed-mounted air compressor comes in handy for trailer/toy inflation.

For charging gear on the go, Rivian offers a slide-out kitchen with an induction cooktop and sink. Add on a rooftop tent or other camping accessories to maximize comfort over landing excursions.

Tuned and Tested for Serious Off-Roading

This EVpickup excels at handling off-road trails thanks to its sophisticated traction control systems. The quad motor AWD model utilizes torque vectoring to optimize traction.

With the air suspension raised, the R1T boasts:

  • 14.9 inches of max ground clearance – greater than the Ford Raptor
  • 35.5° approach angle for clearing steep inclines
  • 30° departure angle for cresting sharp drops without hitting the bumper
  • 26° breakover angle for clearing obstacles and crests

The R1T‘s wading depth exceeds 36 inches, allowing it to ford streams higher than the wheels. Rivian‘s off-road cruise control mode is ideal for challenging rock crawling sections, allowing the driver to set an exact low speed while the truck handles throttle and braking.

Rivian R1T‘s Future – Scaling Production to Meet Demand

Rivian has generated huge excitement and demand for its R1T and upcoming R1S electric SUV. The company will face challenges ramping up production:

  • Plans call for 150,000 vehicles annually by late 2023 – a 15x increase
  • Expansion from 1 factory to potentially 5 globally
  • Securing battery supplies and raw materials
  • Expanding Rivian service centers and technicians nationwide
  • Competition from well-funded startups and major automakers

Rivian‘s advantage lies in its headstart on delivering a refined electric adventure truck. The R1T‘s excellent reception shows consumers want more from EVs than just emissions-free commuting cars.

RJ Scaringe built Rivian to disrupt the auto industry. If the company can scale successfully, expect Rivian to accelerate the shift to electric across the entire auto market.

The R1T Ushers in Exciting Possibilities for Electric Trucks

In my opinion, the R1T proves electric vehicles can offer uncompromising utility and performance. For truck buyers interested in future-proof transportation with instant power on tap, the R1T delivers everything needed on and off the road.

Rivian‘s unique focus beyond just sustainability provides a new dimension we haven‘t seen from Tesla and other EV startups. I for one can‘t wait to see this company challenge assumptions and bring adventure back into the EV conversation.

Thanks for letting me share this deep dive on Rivian’s tech-filled electric pickup – please reach out with any other EV topics you want explored in detail!