One of the most impressive members of the upcoming fleet of off-road electric vehicle offerings is the Rivian ute. For well over a year now, pre-production versions have been put through their paces in some of the world’s harshest environments.
From testing in its Arizona proving ground to a driving trek from the tip of South America to Los Angeles – the company is going to great lengths to develop and prove its vehicles have the strength, durability and range needed to replace the traditional diesel 4WD workhorse.
Certainly, to replace such icons of the bush as the ubiquitous 70 series Landcruisers and Land Rover Defenders is a big ask – and to some degree could have been behind Michaelia Cash’s comments about an EV transition policy ‘stealing the tradies ute’.
However, as I recently wrote about here, the EV transition is now moving into this former bastion of the ICE vehicle.
In this light, it is interesting to see that a documentary series on the two Rivian utes doing the South America to LA trip is to be released as on Apple TV+, beginning September 18, 2020. Called ‘Long Way Up’, they cover 13 countries doing nearly 21,000km in 100 days. Rivian even built a charging network up through South America to support the trip.
Given the trip was done over 12 months ago with two early prototypes with less power and performance than the final production versions – going by the promo video – it would not be unreasonable to suggest that the Rivian RT1 is a contender to inherit the title of ‘most rugged off-road vehicle’ to replace the Defenders and 70 series Landcruisers of old.
(As well as becoming the ‘tradie ute’ of choice for those who want to do some serious weekend off-road adventuring!)
To see more about the coming AppleTV series, check out this video below: