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Boy, that electric pickup truck from Rivian is really catching fire lately. First it was just a tidbit of information here or there every month or so, but now it’s quickly becoming the spotlight of automotive news. The pickup truck market is especially keeping an eye on Rivian and the Rivian RT1 model that is starting to take trucks and after-market camping accessories and blend them together. Originally thought to only be available on the launch edition, it seems that the internet has uncovered more information about the R1T's cool new accessories that will take adventures in pickup trucks to a new level.
Backed by Amazon, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Coatue, and D1 Capital Partners, Rivian is a startup automaker focused on electric vehicles (EVs), or battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) as the automarket has started to call them. With at least $8 billion in funding, the startup is quickly turning heads, taking lessons learned from popular names before it and putting the best features in its first gen lineup - battery-powered pickups, SUVs, and delivery vans.
The Rivian RT1 is the electric pickup truck, first to be produced and released. Preorders were already held and quickly filled for the truck, but like we said – Rivian took some notes. Jeep® will no longer be the only brand to sell vehicles with a removable roof, and that includes the Jeep Gladiator midsize pickup truck. The Rivian RT1 offers several roof styles including electrochromic glass (which turns from opaque to transparent on demand), a fixed glass panel, a two-piece removable composite roof, and a standard fixed roof.
Focused on performance and technology, the center console of the pickup truck seems to have been replaced with a large touchscreen that offers a more intuitive layout and access of controls for the interior cabin, such as the clock, WiFi signal, temperature settings, and engineering aspects. Specifically, this is the UI for the RT1, leaked from a neighbor of the driver. Based on those pictures, we saw multiple driving modes, including a Sport and Off-road mode. Could a high-performance pickup truck be a real thing? We wouldn’t suggest taking a pickup truck to the next race rally, but going off-road is also a feature of the Rivian RT1, with settings for “Ride”, “Stability”, and “Suspension”.
Being an EV, the vehicle has the ability to recharge the battery a little bit at a time to increase its driving range before needing to recharge at a charging station. Known as regenerative braking, this is a feature that started with the original hybrid cars to increase fuel efficiency as well as driving range. We could see in the images that a Break Regeneration mode was set on “high”, so like most EVs, the RT1 will be able to recycle the energy used to bring it to a stop.
The next leak? We’ve all heard about that #VanLife – people who buy a van or SUV, empty it out except for the front row, and travel, live life off the grid, and go on adventures, I guess. In the middle of summer, people are camping and finding outdoor activities to do, and it’s not always easy to find a BBQ pit or get a fire started. Rivian founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe shared a video on Instagram showing the new camp kitchen system built into the RT1 pickup truck. The design is much like a stovetop with enough space two pots or pans on the top, a sink next to that with a built-in water reserve, and in the back, a 30-piece kitchen set, including pots, pans, a cutting board, a coffee pot, the usual utensils, and even a coffee pot and grinder for you early risers.
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This system slides out from a compartment in front of the rear-wheel well. It all folds out, compact and portable. Able to be broken into three modules, one can remove the stovetop and sink, and then the board that supported them comes with two 100-volt plugs and two 12-volt plugs. It’s basically a real kitchen built into a truck.
Now that’s an electric pickup truck. Automakers are going to have to step up their game now. How do you even beat this setup? Follow along with more updates about Rivian and the RT1 pickup truck when you follow us on NowCar social media.