Rivian R1T electric pickup: More details about towing, gear tunnel, app-controlled tailgate

As it gets closer to the planned start of customer deliveries, Rivian continues to whet appetites with more details of its R1T electric pickup truck. The company showed off a prototype towing 11,000 pounds in scorching heat last year, and has discussed acceleration and range, but in a recent blog post it released a more […]

As it gets closer to the planned start of customer deliveries, Rivian continues to whet appetites with more details of its R1T electric pickup truck.

The company showed off a prototype towing 11,000 pounds in scorching heat last year, and has discussed acceleration and range, but in a recent blog post it released a more complete set of specs, including a 1,155-pound tongue weight for the 2.0-inch Class V receiver hidden behind a panel on the rear bumper.

Rivian also released full dimensions for the truck itself, including a maximum 14.9 inches of ground clearance when the suspension is raised to its maximum off-road height, as well as the front trunk (maximum capacity is 11 cubic feet).

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T

Other new details include specs for the Gear Tunnel, a pass-through behind the cab enabled by the truck’s flat skateboard platform. The tunnel is 65 inches long, 18.1 inches wide, and 20.3 inches high, so it’s primarily useful for long, narrow items. It also features LED lighting and 12-volt and 110-volt outlets, Rivian said.

The bed is made from reinforced, compression-molded structural composite, Rivian said, noting that the material is more resistant to corrosion than metal. It measures measures 54 inches long with the tailgate up, or 83.6 inches with the tailgate down, and is 50.2 inches wide between the wheel wells.

In-bed accessories include LED lighting, a pair of 110-volt outlets, and air-compressor hookup. The tailgate can also be raised and lowered using an app—the first truck we’re aware of with such a feature.

Rivian plans to start R1T deliveries in June, beginning with Launch Edition models priced from $75,000. The Launch Edition gets what Rivian calls the “Large pack”—assumed to be 135 kilowatt-hours—allowing for 300 miles of range. The largest 180-kwh pack—which Rivian calls the “Max pack” adds 100 miles of range for an extra $10,000, and is expected to become available in January, followed by a smaller 105-kwh pack. Rivian uses battery cells from Samsung SDI.

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T

As the R1T comes into focus, we’re getting a better idea of how it will compare to the handful of other electric pickups in the works.

Looking at General Motors, the Chevrolet Silverado EV might more closely match the Rivian’s demographic than the pricey GMC Hummer EV. However, the Silverado might be larger than the R1T, which aims to slot between midsize pickups and full-size models like the current Silverado. The same goes for the upcoming Ford F-150 Electric, which may get the “Lightning” name.

The Tesla Cybertruck still might show up by the end of the year, beating most of the Detroit pickups, but isn’t likely to be delivered in volume until next year. While Rivian focuses on more traditional truck competencies, such as towing and off-road capability, Tesla is betting unorthodox styling will sell more pickups.