EV startup Rivian has teased a yellow version of its all-electric R1T ute, and we have to say, it looks perfect for the Australian landscape.
While Michigan-based startup has not given a name to the newest colour applied to its all-electric ute (known as a pickup in the US),we are just going to go right ahead and call it “desert yellow”.
We also think it is a perfect colour for Australia, which Both Rivian’s CEO and founder RJ Scaringe and chief engineer Brian Gase have both pegged as a future market for the startup’s all-electric R1T and the R1S electric SUV.
So much so that we’ve (quickly) mocked up a few images for you, including the one above, and this one on an archetypal red dirt outback road.
Rivian tweeted the new images on Friday, drawing a great deal of enthusiasm from followers who are able to put down orders for the highly anticipated vehicles.
What does your family have planned for the holiday weekend? Oh — and what do you think of the color? pic.twitter.com/e8E8nva5xp
— Rivian (@Rivian) July 2, 2020
“You need to build 100,000 of these already get on it!” said one follower.
“S&%t….that’s beautiful, when do you guys start to sell in Australia?” said another.
Others were not so enthusiastic: “That colour is notorious in Australia, several terrible 70’s and 80’s cars had it … we were only just psychologically recovering,” said a third Rivian follower.
Nevertheless, the R1T – which Rivian says will be able to wade through a metre of water, pull 5 tonnes and deliver 750hp of “good, clean, powerful fun” – certainly appears to have what it takes to rise to the challenge of harsh Australian outback conditions, particularly given the fact the startup is developing independent motors for each wheel for optimal traction control.
Just check out this video of the electric ute being put through its paces in off-road conditions:
Last weekend, we grabbed our cameras and chased a few engineers around the desert as they put the R1T through its paces. Rock crawling. Off-roading. On-track. (Test vehicle shown in camouflage — we didn’t change our headlights! Testing on a closed course and in designated areas.) pic.twitter.com/q5to5lnRQW
— Rivian (@Rivian) June 25, 2020
Other Rivian fans were impatient to know when they would be actually be able to drive the Rivian R1T. The Rivian R1T and R1S first wowed crowds at the LA Auto Show in November 2018, and although US drivers have been able to put a deposit on both vehicles for a good while now, there is still yet one vehicle to actually go into production.
However, given the state of the world since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, forcing auto makers to shut down, this is not surprising.
Rivian, like others, had to slow down operations, and although it was able to re-open in late May it confirmed in April that the pandemic meant it would need to put back its US release to 2021. There have been several requests from fans to clarify a timeline for overseas expansion, to which Rivian has said it would share this “at a later date”.
Rivian certainly has a great deal of gravitas behind it: it has the backing of Ford, Amazon and Cox Automotive, with a total of $A2.23 billion raised.
Amazon has also put in an order for 100,000 electric vans as part of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ plan to reduce the retail giant’s carbon footprint.
Notably, Amazon also recently bought Cannon-Brookes-backed autonomous startup Zoox. Could we one day see a self-driving Rivian van delivering goods on Aussie roads, or an autonomous R1T circumnavigating Australia’s vast coastline?
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.