Tesla’s bakkie-building rival is sitting pretty after an R7bn investment from Ford. But that doesn’t mean that Rivian is feeling complacent.
The Californian electric vehicle start-up revealed by far the most convincing battery powered bakkie concept with its RT1, late last year. Immense power from a huge battery pack and crushing performance courtesy of a 562 kW peak power electric motor option has made even the most ardent diesel bakkie owners take notice.
Beyond its incredible power output, the RT1’s utility features are deeply impressive too. There’s the 330-litre frunk (where you’d expect a conventional internal combustion engine to be), offering weather-proof loading space. And an ability to flip-open a panel at the rear of the cab, allowing the loading of cargo longer than the loadbin.
Now Rivian has revealed an additional feature to its RT1’s specification. This is one which is sure to find favour with South African bakkie fans: a mobile kitchen.
At the recent Overland Expo West, held in Flagstaff, Arizona, Rivian revealed a pull-out kitchen feature for its RT1. Using the bakkie’s unique full-width load tunnel behind the cab, Rivian’s slide-out kitchen is clever and should enable true off-grid camping.
There is no gas to fiddle with or the inconvenience of running multiple lengths of power cord to a campsite’s plug-point. The Rivian RT1 double-cab’s mobile kitchen is powered by the bakkie’s enormously potent 180 kWh battery.
This kitchen has a dual hotplate, a sink (that doubles as 19-litres of water storage), several drawers and a compact countertop work surface. Rivian’s technicians claim that preparing three meals a day for a week and using the RT1’s exterior lighting, will only deplete the bakkie’s battery capacity by a mere 11%.
For overlanders, the release date of Rivian’s RT1, scheduled for late next year, can’t come quickly enough.