Rivian, a new Michigan-based EV startup, has just debuted their R1T all-electric truck at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s quite an impressive truck, with a 400-mile range, four 200-horsepower electric motors, 11,000 pound towing capacity, 160 kW fast charger that promises 200 miles of range in 30 minutes, and space for five passengers all in a $69,000 price tag. Perhaps more impressively, Rivian already has a production facility in Normal, Illinois ready to start churning out these high-end pickups. Rivian recently secured a $200 million loan that allowed them to take over a former Mitsubishi manufacturing plant, and Rivian expects to employ over 1,000 Americans at this new plant. Unlike other EV startups, Rivian is ready to bring a functional product to market, and, perhaps most importantly, will be the first to market with an electric light duty non-commercial truck.
To be clear, the R1T is a premium luxury truck, closer to a Range Rover than a base F-150. While the Rivian appears certainly capable of matching the utility of the Ford Super Duty Series trucks, RAM trucks, and Chevy Silverados, its luxury and high tech features definitely push the Rivian towards a different market segment. The “I’ll get an EV when they make an electric truck” crowd probably didn’t envision the R1T when they made that statement.
Rivian looks to have these vehicles available by 2020, and is currently taking $1,000 refundable deposits for the R1T. It is unknown at this time how many reservations Rivian has received.
It seems the first electric truck will come from Michigan, after all. Just not one of the Detroit Big Three.