Special Podcast: Rivian R1T First Reviews Are In | 29 Sep 2021

Episode 1227,  Sep 29, 12:00 AM

Today’s big EV stories: • Rivian R1T specs • First driving impressions • Pros and Cons of first EV truck

Show #1227

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Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Wednesday 29th September. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don't have to.

Thank you to MYEV.com for helping make this show, they’ve built the first marketplace specifically for Electric Vehicles. It’s a totally free marketplace that simplifies the buying and selling process, and help you learn about EVs along the way too.

Tom Moloughney from State of Charge YT channel and InsideEVs got an invite to go and drive the Rivian R1T.

Here are highlights of his review, but go and read the whole thing and watch his video review.

·       MOTOR                             4 AC Permanent-Magnet (each corner)
·       OUTPUT                            835 Horsepower / 908 Pound-Feet
·       DRIVE TYPE                       All-Wheel Drive
·       TOWING                           11,000 Pounds (Max)
·       GROUND CLEARANCE    7.9 - 14.4 Inches
·       SPEED 0-60 MPH             3.0 Seconds
·       CARGO VOLUME             Frunk: 11.0 Cubic Feet; Gear Tunnel: 11.6
·       HEIGHT                             75.7 Inches
·       LENGTH                             217.1 Inches
·       WIDTH                              81.8 Inches
·       ANGLE OF REPOSE          34.0 Degrees
·       DEPARTURE ANGLE        29.3 Degrees
·       WADING DEPTH              3+ Feet
·       AS-TESTED PRICE             $73,000

The average selling price of a new pickup was over $57,000 in June 2021, in fact, according to KBB

EPA: 314 miles (505 km) (see details here)
400+ miles (644+ km) version (January 2022)
250+ mile (402+ km) affordable version to follow

undisclosed battery capacity
2170-type cylindrical cells (7,776), supplied by Samsung SDI

on-board charger: 11.5 kW (AC Level 2); up to 25 miles of range per hour of charge
DC fast charging: up to 140 miles of range in 20 minutes

On drive modes: "For on-road driving, drivers get to select between the All-Purpose, Sport, and Conserve driving modes. When you set up your profile, you can select which driving mode you prefer the vehicle to default to upon starting. That's a great feature to have, and unfortunately, not all automakers allow the owner to do that. All too often, the vehicle defaults to a set mode every time it turns on and the driver has to then select the mode he or she prefers to drive in."

On off-roading: "Rock crawling mode enables a slow, steady ascent or descent. There's no need to play with the throttle to maintain the proper RPMs or even use the friction brakes to slow down. That's because the regenerative braking system holds you back slowly and steadily, even better than the hill descent modes I've used on a variety of gas-powered AWD vehicles."

On the ride height: "The R1T's ground clearance can be adjusted by as much as 6.5 inches, from 7.9 to 14.4 inches. For comparison, that's 3.3 inches more ground clearance than the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, which tops out at 11.1 inches. The R1T isn't hampered with driveshafts and exhaust systems to protect underneath either. Instead, there's a protective shield of high-strength steel, alloyed aluminum, and carbon fiber."

On the bed: "The bed is only 54 inches long with the tailgate up and will be a problem for some folks. My Toyota Tacoma has a 60-inch bed and that is, on occasion, too small for some jobs. Yes, it does have an 11.6-cubic-foot gear tunnel that can accommodate cargo, but large items that need to go in the bed may not fit without leaving the tailgate down and that presents its own set of issues while driving."

Air compressor for reinflating tyres
Will work as FWD to increase range
They got rid of Low regen mode to get more EPA range
150kW max regen
One pedal driving
Auto hold
Autosteer works where there is HD maps
No Apple Carplay/Android Auto
Alexa will be added - unsurprising!

John Voelcker for Forbes: "Dimensionally, Rivian’s R1T sits comfortably in the midsize pickup class with the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier. It’s the widest of that group by an inch at 79 inches, but its 218-inch length and 72-inch height map neatly with the others. The only sore point, perhaps, is its limited 54-inch long bed. It opens up to 83.6 inches with the tailgate down, but with the gate up it’s closer to the compact Ford Maverick’s bed compared with most short-bed midsize trucks. I drove the R1T for a lengthy day over a variety of roads and non-roads, at altitudes from 9,000 to 12,000 feet. By the end of the day, it was clear Rivian has a decent shot at being the second EV startup to make it into the big leagues. Buyers looking for a full-size all-electric pickup truck will have to wait until the Ford F-150 Lightning hits the dealers, but this is a legitimate midsize pickup that should do virtually everything owners want trucks to do. "

Hannah Elliott at Blolomberg: "My first impression was that Scaringe and his tight-knit team did try to think of everything when they made it. It felt as if they had taken their own notes over many back-country climbing and biking trips, then made a vehicle to suit their own Patagonia-loving lifestyle.  With nearly 15 inches of clearance, it had me crawling over gullies and up hard-packed inclines with little effort. I loved the shape and feel of the steering wheel and the craftsmanship of the natural-grain ash-wood trim along the doors and dashboard. The cabin seal proved quiet as I plunged through the wilderness. Rivian’s fit-and-finish elements and build quality are better than what Tesla has given us to this point. . Its 800-plus horsepower and 900 pound-feet of torque from four electric motors easily pushed it to 100 mph as I glided past RVs lumbering down Loveland Pass. And that’s plenty of power for hauling—more than the F150 and its peers. Rivian says it will hit 60 mph in 3 seconds; it certainly felt so. Top speed will be electronically limited to 110 mph."

Tim Levin at MarketsInsider: "Powered by four torquey motors - one driving each wheel - the R1T made light work of any obstacle and steep grade I threw at it during a day of off-roading (on trails Rivian hand-picked to showcase the model's strengths). The R1T promises to put out more than 800 horsepower and over 900 pound-feet of torque between the front and rear wheels. But the truck offers a lot more than just four-wheel drive and a ton of power. Since its motors operate independently, the R1T can instantly deliver more or less power to any wheel at any moment, a huge asset for tackling uneven terrain. Plus, you can toggle between drive modes that change the R1T's ride height, suspension settings, and throttle response for different types of off-roading."

Mitchell Charle at The Verge: "I don’t want to pretend like we were doing hardcore rock crawling, but we certainly got to see how the truck handled steep, loose climbs, water crossings, and situations where we were driving at an extreme angle over very uneven ground (though I don’t think we ever lifted more than one wheel off the ground). And the R1T handled all those things beautifully.  The weight of the R1T’s 135kWh battery pack is spread out along the entire length of the truck, helping it avoid some traditional truck problems. I didn’t experience any of the fishtails that I used to deal with when I owned a Chevy S10 or when I drove a mid-2000s Ford Ranger. That weight also keeps the Rivian planted when going into curves, without the body roll that sometimes comes with bigger cars. Since Rivian charged the trucks for us overnight, I never had any range anxiety with the R1T, even while we were off-roading. Our test model was capable of going 314 miles on a full charge, but I don’t think I ever saw it dip below 90 miles, even after a full day of driving."

Kristen at TechCrunch :"During the off-road section, the independent air suspension proved its worth. Drivers can pick from one of several modes: all-purpose, sport, off-road, conserve and towing. Within the off-road mode, there are even more options, including off-road auto, rock crawl and rally. There’s also a drift mode, which I didn’t test. The ride height, damping, pedal map that controls regenerative braking and suspension on the vehicle adjust depending on the drive mode. For instance, in conserve mode, the vehicle lowers to about 8 inches; in off-road, it can be as high as 14.9 inches.  During our off-road excursion, we put the vehicle up and over steep slopes and even made a shallow ford. The ground clearance, combined with an approach angle of 34 degrees, a breakover of 25.7 and departure angle of 29.3 degrees, meant the vehicle never scraped or stuttered. There were moments when, as I prepared to drive around a particularly large boulder — the standard technique in other vehicles — a Rivian employee would encourage me to just drive over it. And I would, without the negative results."

Josh Rubin at Cool Hunting: "Yes, Rivian is a mobility company but the moment we get in to the R1/T it’s clear they’re also a technology company. Two large screens comprise the entire vehicle interface beyond the steering wheel and stalks on either side of it. While controlling everything—from entertainment to drive mode to air vent direction—through a touchscreen is a paradigm shift from the typical truck, it’s commonplace for tech-forward EVs. Plus, keeping as much control on-screen as possible means that new features, updated functionality and evolved interfaces can all be delivered over the air through a simple software update. Driving on the gritty, rocky, steep, muddy, narrow and complicated tracks around Breckenridge and through the White River National Forest with the windows open we hear babbling brooks and the breeze in the trees with the only sound created by the R1/T being the crunch of rocks below the tires."


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