Ever since Tesla redefined what an electric car could be with the Car of the Year-winning 2013 Model S, we’ve waited, wondering about the inevitable application of the EV formula to America’s best-selling vehicle class four decades running: the pickup truck. Initially that was a question of time, but as of late, it’s been a question of who. In the past few years, credible challengers have arisen, enough of them with sufficient financial backing and technical expertise that we realized we would soon have an answer to both questions.
The Rivian R1T would win praise if it were merely a credible pickup truck that is also an electric vehicle, but it’s far more. Not content to simply mount an electric motor or two under the hood or box of a traditional pickup, Rivian used the opportunity to re-examine what a modern pickup truck could be.