A Rivian R1T electric ute (known as a pickup truck in the US) has been spotted in New York by TikTok star Sam Sheffer and the resulting video has proved so popular it has been viewed no less than 4.6 million times since it was posted on Saturday (US time).
The Rivian R1T, which the EV startup began manufacturing in September, is joined by an equally rugged R1S electric SUV. Both are available in the US, and Rivian is preparing to expand into the UK, Western Europe and Canada.
Australia is, according to recent documents the company filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, a “critically important market“, and although it may not be available for sale until 2023 there is an R1T and an R1S already on the ground here and the company has noted the “intense local interest“.
And it’s no surprise really. As you can see in the TikTok video below, the number of cool additions built into the the Rivian R1T really hit the spot in terms of a vehicle that is absolutely ready for adventure.
“I’m smack in the middle of New York city and that is a Rivian R1T … it’s an electric truck,” he says (for those not already aware of the fact).
— Sam Sheffer (@samsheffer) October 14, 2021
After checking out the Rivian branding in the headlights, he pops open the front trunk – which opens and closes automatically. Handy if you’re reaching in to get another chair out to put around the fire with beverage in hand.
He points out the 20-inch tyres with distinctive covers, as well as the numerous cameras that form part of the Rivian Driver+ driver-assist suite.
In total, there are 10 exterior cameras as well as 12 ultrasonic sensors for 360° close-range sensing, and five radars (one on each corner and one on the front) to assist with more complex tasks like lane changes.
But it’s the road-trip-ready features that we’re most excited about.
“Rivian says this is an adventure vehicle,” Sheffer says, “so in case of emergency check this out – inside the door is a built-in flashlight!”
“How cool is that?”
“And if a flashlight wasn’t enough for you,” he says, “inside this centre console thing… is a portable Bluetooth speaker that charges in here!”
He points out the gear tunnel: “Because of the way this truck is designed, we have something called the gear tunnel,” he says. “So I press this button over here, and this thing opens and that side opens so you can put in electric skateboards, luggage, snowboards.
“The design and attention to detail here is awesome,” he adds, pointing out the roof racks which can be unlatched without the need for tools, and extended to the back of the vehicle.
“And then when the car is unlocked you can tell because the handles sit (open) like this,” he adds.
Inside is equally impressive, it would seem: “So we’ll go inside the car … you’ve got a display upfront here near the driver, and then you’ve got a touchscreen display right here,” he says pointing to the ultra-wide screen front and centre.
“Nice wood interior finish here, Rivian logo on the steering wheel, and then vegan leather seats,” he adds.
“Tons of room in the back here,” he says. “I’m sitting in the back seat and there are handles for the back seats as well!”
He’s even excited about the windows. “And you know how some cars the windows don’t go all the way down windows don’t all the way down – these windows roll all the way down.”
But even better, he says, opening the charge point: “Because it’s electric — oh yeah this thing is a transformer.” Make sure you watch the TikTok video to the end!
@samshefferRIVIAN R1T IN NYC! full video on my YT (samsheffer)♬ original sound – Sam Sheffer
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.