First drive: Rivian Delivers the Electric truck we’ve been waiting for

First drive: Rivian Delivers the Electric truck we’ve been waiting for

Rivian’s first attempt resulted in the Goldilocks of pickup pickups. The Rivian R1T electric truck is a good balance of size and weight. It can handle rock crawling and off-camber terrain with ease, go from zero to 60 mph on a dirt road in a matter of seconds without the normal back-end slippage — although there is an option to simulate that drifting effect — and motor through curving mountain roads without body roll. The Rivian R1T isn’t a delicate flower, but it’s crammed with the kind of interior and external touches that put it firmly in the premium zone.

From tip to tail, the company’s designers and engineers helped the vehicle avoid pretension by blending form and function. Some of the extra elements, such as the location of tie-downs, an air compressor, and outlets, imply that many Rivian personnel put the vehicle through its paces in real-world situations, such as camping, mountain biking, and even simple things like grocery shopping.

As a result, the vehicle feels appropriate for all seasons and prepared for anything. And, maybe most importantly, it’s a pleasure to drive.

A near-production-spec R1T proved to be the electric truck none of us realized we needed on a three-day press drive.

That isn’t to suggest that every decision was flawless. On the software user interface side of things, there are a few hardware features and pieces that may need a nip and tuck. I’m referring to you, the strange notch that may or may not be a pen holder, but is unquestionably the dust collector by the wireless charging pad.

To be clear, a thorough evaluation necessitates a significant amount of time and mileage. Nonetheless, the Rivian R1T impresses as a whole.

Rivian’s accomplishments with the R1T are impressive.

Established automakers find it challenging to foresee and then check all of the boxes on their customers’ wish lists. It’s considerably more difficult to mass-produce that car while keeping a high level of fit and finish. Rivian is in the unique position of attempting to bring the first electric truck to market in the United States, while also making it a desirable vehicle for drivers.

Rivian has outperformed the competition in terms of desirability and drivability. It now has to pass two additional tests: production and delivery.

It’s getting closer to those objectives. The first production Rivian R1T electric pickup truck in “Rivian blue” rolled off the assembly line at the company’s facility in Normal, Illinois, earlier this month, marking a milestone for the manufacturer and its founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe, that had been in the works for more than a decade. The company, which began as Mainstream Motors in 2009 before changing its name to Rivian two years later, has experienced tremendous growth in terms of employees, investors, and partners in recent years.

Rivian kept its prototypes of its all-electric R1T truck and R1S SUV under wraps for years until revealing them at the LA Auto Show in late 2018.