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The Big Comparison: Rivian R1T vs Tesla CyberTruck

Hello and welcome to another ChargeSmart blog! Today we will be pitting the two most anticipated EV pickups against each other. Read on as the Rivian R1T and the Tesla CyberTruck go head to head.


Unless you've been living off the grid recently then you would have heard about Tesla's new CyberTruck. It truly does look like something from outer space. The internet has so far had a love/hate relationship with the truck with some praising it while others claim Elon probably drew it when he was about five. The CyberTruck will go head to head to head with the Rivian R1T. So, let’s take a look at both the trucks and see what’s special about these two vehicles that are spearheading the new wave of EV pickup trucks. Remember that neither car is in production yet, but both are rumoured to be coming to showrooms in the next year or two.


Above: the Rivian R1T


Let’s start with the Rivian R1T then. Rivian is an EV start-up and while it isn’t known to many at this point, we suspect that it’s only a matter of time before they become more well-known as they have the backing of Amazon! The Rivian is 217.1 inches long and has a wheelbase of 135.8 inches, the bed of the truck is 4.5 feet long. While that seems short, the Rivian makes up for having a shorter bed because there’s a neat storage compartment in between the rear seats and the bed which is large enough to carry a surfboard. Yes, there really is a compartment for your surfboard! The R1T is a lot like your typical kiwi ute. Think along the lines of the Ford Ranger, the Rivian also has a double cab with 5 seats. While the Rivian might follow the traditional guidelines to ute styling unlike the controversial Tesla, it is by no means a traditional ute when it comes to positioning of the motor and batteries. Both of which are in a single casing that is fitted to the bottom of the car, keeping the center of gravity low. This also helps Rivian because the same platform can then be used for other cars or trucks that they might plan to make in future. Then comes the batteries. The top spec Rivian will have an estimated range of nearly 650 kilometres while the base model will achieve somewhere around 370 kilometres both are very workable amounts. The company have said that their top spec model will produce 750bhp and a mammoth 1124 Nm of torque. That’s roughly about double of what the top spec diesel Amarok V6 produces. Wow! These figures should propel the big R1T from 0-100 in around 3 seconds, that’s supercar performance territory. Just picture this, a large ute that could tow a caravan and seat 5 people also having the capacity to beat something like a Ferrari 488 off the line!

That’s just mental! Rivian also estimate their truck will be able to tow around 5 tonnes with a payload of close to 800 kg. Starting price for the base model R1T is somewhere around $69,000 US.


Above: the Tesla CyberTruck


Enough about the Rivian! Let’s take a look at something a little less unconventional- the Tesla CyberTruck. Like the Rivian. The Tesla is also good for towing things, carrying things and seating people but how does it do in terms of range and torque you may ask? The CyberTruck dwarfs the Rivian because at 230.9 inches in length, it is not only longer in general but also has a longer wheelbase of 149.9 inches. That means that the Tesla also has a longer truck bed, a whole two feet longer! The Tesla also gets the double cab with 5 seats but in typical Tesla fashion, there is also space for a folding seat which will fit a sixth passenger between the front two seats. Sort of like cars from the 60s where you had 3 people sitting in the front row of the vehicle. While the Rivian is a little conventional, the Tesla is the complete opposite. Tesla estimates that their base model offering will have a range of 400 kilometers while the top spec model will have an insane 800 kilometers of range. Again, these are all estimates but it’s great to see Tesla are clearly looking at being the ‘go-to’ option for the EV pickup buyer. We also know that Elon Musk is never one to shy away from a challenge. This range comes courtesy of Tesla’s Raven powertrain which uses a combination of a motor from the Model 3 and a performance motor from the Model S. Estimates say that the Tesla should have around 690 bhp and 1117 Nm of torque, a little less than the Rivian. While Rivian claim that their R1T will hit 100 in 3 seconds, our old mate Musk claims that his CyberTruck will do the same in 2.9 seconds. Anyone else smell a competition brewing? The Tesla also holds the upper hand when it comes to towing as the estimated rating is around 6.3 tonnes. All these figures seem irrelevant because usually the price is what dictates a lot of car purchases, not the torque figures. And here’s where Tesla have the biggest advantage. Because of their prior experience in the car industry, the CyberTruck will have a starting price of $39,000 USD. That’s about $30, 000 less than the Rivian’s starting price. Add on the fact that the top spec Tesla is going to be the same price as a base model Rivian means the Amazon backed startup has a lot of ground to cover in the price department at least.


Thanks for reading! Which EV pickup would you choose, the Rivian or the Tesla? Make sure to join us tomorrow as we look at an 800bhp Hyundai Kona Rally car!



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