Tesla Challenger Rivian Reveals Electric Camper Pickup

Rivian pickup
Rivian introduces R1T all-electric pickup truck at Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 27, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake)

The camper version of the R1T electric pick-up from Rivian LLC is drawing much customer interest at the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona, not the least because of its nifty electric kitchen.

Rivian, which Morgan Stanley says is the next serious competitor to Tesla Inc., is the first electric vehicle (EV) maker to display an EV at this show dedicated to off-road explorers and adventure campers which ends Sunday.

The R1T is still under development but is expected to go on sale in late 2020, beating both Ford Motor Company and Tesla as the first to market an all-electric pick-up.

The camper R1T on display at Overland Expo West is a full-service off-roader for a weekend camping getaway.  It's got a bed-mount tent with accommodations for two and a roof rack for extra storage.

Commentators remarked the electric truck's really cool feature is its custom slide-out kitchen. The kitchen also comes with storage for food; has ample counter space, and has an electric stove.

Since the R1T is an EV, the stove draws power from the ample onboard 180 kWh battery pack. Rivian said this 180 kWh battery pack is the world's largest automotive battery pack. The sealed battery pack can wade through 36 inches of water.

The battery allows a week of cooking and lighting up at a campsite. Rivian said all of these activities will only consume 11 percent of the battery pack's power.

The kitchen's built into the truck's gear tunnel at the front of the bed just behind the cab.

"We've cooked up a mobile kitchen prototype that showcases just one of the many ways to utilize the extra storage space in the R1T. It features 2 induction burners, a sink, 5 gallons of water storage and keeps all your cookware and utensils organized while you're out in the wild," said Rivian in a statement.

In the US, the Rivian R1T will start at $69,000 before incentives.

Rivian's will only build SUVs and light trucks whose gasoline-powered versions are today heavily outselling sedans throughout the United States. Rivian hopes to take the American motorists' infatuation with SUVs and trucks to the EV arena.

It's no wonder Rivian chose its R1T electric truck prototype to make a statement about its challenge to Tesla at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2018.

Rivian said the R1T will have a range of 400 miles, with its four individual electric motors allowing for all-wheel-drive. Rivian CEO R.C. Scaringe said the pickup will be able to hit 60 mph in 3 seconds. The truck can tow up to 11,000 pounds.

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