Electric Truck vs. the Hype
Bloomberg Businessweek|October 11, 2021
The Rivian R1T promises to save the world and change the way Americans drive. Is it really that good?
Hannah Elliott

On Sept. 22 I started test-driving a forest-green R1T pickup from Rivian Automotive LLC, an electric-car maker based in Plymouth, Mich., that anticipates an $80 billion initial public offering this fall. Over three days, I crossed the Continental Divide on paved switchbacks and scaled dusty peaks near a family of fluffy mountain goats. I drove 200 highway miles round trip between Denver and Breckenridge, Colo., and can attest that the R1T is quick. Its 800-plus horsepower and 900 pound-feet of torque from four electric motors easily pushed it to 100 mph; its three-second reported sprint time certainly felt legit.

The people who make this truck, led by Rivian founder and Chief Executive Officer RJ Scaringe, are campers at heart, and their truck feels as if they took notes over many back country climbing and biking trips, and then made a vehicle. The $5,000 two-burner camp kitchen option cooks a mean meal.

But there are some significant red flags. The discerning consumer would do well to pause to consider them before making a blind—and I do mean “blind,” as sales are restricted to online—purchase.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEKView All

Big Sky's Moment of Glory

The most rugged resort in Montana gets speedy lifts, luxury hotels, and fine dining to match its extreme slopes

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Black Hairstyles Need Protection

In most U.S. states, employers and schools are allowed to discriminate against box braids, locs, and other traditional styles. A coalition of activists and legislators has started to change that.

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

High Stakes On the Lake

Justin Bibb wants to be Cleveland’s next mayor. If he beats Kevin Kelley, he’ll inherit serious problems—and a windfall to fix them

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Can twitter get us to be nice?

Social networks are all designed to make people angry and keep them coming back for more. Now, one of the worst offenders is trying to be less of a hellscape

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Let's Make Covid Testing Part of Our Morning Routine

A Harvard immunologist champions low-cost, at-home rapid tests to beat the pandemic

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Homeopath, heal thyself

Natalie Grams believed—really believed—in the healing power of homeopathy. Then a health crisis of her own forced the German physician to question her faith

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Stuck on the Sidelines of The U.S. Job Market

Conversations with some of the 5 million out-of-work Americans shed light on why so many jobs are going begging

8 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

DE-radicalizing the Extremists

Parents for Peace enlists ex-believers to help families win back loved ones drawn to Islamism, QAnon, and other ideologies. Demand has never been higher

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

The Hunt for the Most Lucrative Patients

Privately run Medicare Advantage programs get paid more when members look sicker—even if they don’t receive more care

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021

Wall Street's Toughest Turnaround

Jane Fraser is rethinking Citigroup and what it means to work at a megabank

7 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18 - 25, 2021