Rivian R1T Proves its Mettle in Grueling Towing Test Through California!


As the electric pickup sector continues to grow and evolve, one of the most important considerations for consumers is a vehicle’s ability to tow.

That’s why Rivian recently put their R1T model through a grueling test by taking it on trips throughout California and beyond. Much of this journey was documented by MotorTrend writer Derek Powell, who shared his experiences along the way.

In this blog post, we will take an in-depth look at these excursions and analyze what they can reveal about the R1T's impressive capabilities! 

2022 Rivian R1T Launch Edition Tows Porsche Cayman GT4

It all started when Derek Powell, a long-time Tesla driver and EV enthusiast, decided to test the capabilities of his newly acquired 2022 Rivian R1T Launch Edition in an upcoming venture—towing a Porsche Cayman GT4 from Los Angeles all the way up to Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California’s Central Valley. Little did he know what he had in store.

The grueling 120-mile drive on the Interstate 5 presented Powell with a seemingly insurmountable feat as his trip across California involved an absolutely staggering total elevation gain of 4,144 feet! Worryingly, this daunting journey sought to test the power efficiency and range capabilities of his truck optimal carrying weight—the car and trailer together weighed close to 3,800 pounds as calculated by Rivian.

Despite the sheer challenge posed to Powell during this journey, his brave attempt came with great success as he finally arrived at his destination with 32 percent of charge remaining in the battery pack! In the aftermath of this remarkable accomplishment, what followed were additional trips taken by Powell.

These have included towing his other vehicle from Los Angeles across the San Francisco Bay Area and another frequently-traveled journey between Las Vegas and Torrance, California — all experiences that causing some frustrations along the way for Powell due to heavy traffic on I-5 North of Barstow.

Rivian R1T Regenerative Braking Capabilities are Awesome!

The main factor that helped Powell conserve valuable range throughout the journey was the electric torque and rejuvenation provided by its regenerative braking.

Along with this, eager anticipation to pass through Electrify America Stations as soon as possible was quickly replaced by feelings of disappointment due to unexpectedly slow charging times compared to what he had been experiencing without a trailer attached.

Consequently, instead of completing the epic trip in just 10 hours as initially planned, it took him two days. This distressing predicament amplified his appreciation for regenerative braking because it "...adds a whole extra level of strategy that you don’t have to think about when you’re driving a gas car or an EV without the trailer."

Ultimately, just as he managed to reach his destination in California despite his draining encounter with slow charge speeds, Powell is confident that Rivian's remarkable regenerative braking capabilities can help shoppers of electric vehicles explore their weekend getaways and holiday escapades with complete peace of mind regardless of load and terrain.

All of this Comes Months Before the Long Awaited Tesla Cybertruck Release!

The Rivian's R1T incredible journey comes just months before the long awaited Tesla Cybertruck release!

This achievement reveals that not only is the craftsmanship of this model top-tier but it also foreshadows the potential strides forward for other new automakers entering this space who are hoping to create a model that gives Tesla’s head-turning Cybertruck a run for its money.

Although the current incarnation of the Rivian R1T does not possess an ultra-fast 800v architecture like its anticipated rival, it has been reported that future builds of this truck is expected to feature Tesla’s charging port and from here on out known as NACS (North American Charging Standard). In 2021 numerous automakers have adopted this same charging hardware.

This opens up possibilities for owners of Rivian pickup trucks and other compatible models to have access to Tesla’s own expansive Supercharger network. This means that one can only expect the convenience factor accompanying ownership of a Rivian truck will drastically increase!

The Bottom Line

Rivian's flagship R1T Pickup Truck has proven itself more than capable through its successful completion of a grueling towing test through California.

This latest round of testing shows that Rivian's vehicles are powerful, reliable and can handle all sorts of demands – making them ideal for people who need a tough, dependable electric vehicle.

With EVs becoming the clear choice for many drivers, Rivian is at the forefront of innovation in this space. Their commitment to efficiency and reliability sets them apart and marks them as pioneers of modern EV technology.

We can look forward to seeing what exciting innovations they bring us next and how their vehicles continue to shape the industry into the future!

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