Ford F-150 Serves as Test Mule for Rivian’s Electric Underpinnings

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Rivian R1T

If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. For electric pickup maker Rivian, that means using the F-150.

If you were running an ambitious all-electric automobile manufacturing company specializing in full-size trucks and SUVs, it would make perfect sense to aim high, right? After all, the full-size truck is the last frontier of sorts for electrification. And there’s a reason for that. Pickup owners are no-compromise folks, which is why the Ford F-150 has reigned supreme on the sales charts for over 40 years. Thus, we really weren’t surprised to learn that Rivian is using F-150 bodies to test their new electrified drivetrains.

This fascinating little tidbit isn’t just a rumor, either. It came straight from the horse’s mouth – Rivian’s co-founder and CEO RJ Scaringe – in a recent interview with the Detroit Free Press. “We need something to keep the weather out while we put a lot of miles on our skateboard, so they’re driving around in Detroit right now, too. They’re all over the place, but nobody knows. We’re very quiet about that,” Scaringe said. Well, quiet until now, apparently.

Rivian R1T

Scaringe claims that the F-150 has the perfectly-sized wheelbase to fit the company’s battery pack and other electric components. But we’d go a bit further than that. It’s quite obvious that the company is aiming directly at the F-150 with its new R1T pickup in pretty much every category. The electric truck’s range, when equipped with the bigger battery, is a solid 400 miles. And they also claim that it’ll run 0-60 in just 3.0 seconds and tow 11,000 pounds.

Rivian R1T

Impressive numbers, indeed. And the kind of stats Rivian will have to present traditional truck owners if they hope to steal sales away from the F-150. After all, other manufacturers have been trying to do that for decades, to no avail. Whether or not these latest efforts will succeed? We’ll just have to wait and see. But with R1T production on track to begin in 2020, we’ll find out soon enough!

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Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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