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Potential buyers have many concerns when considering purchasing an electric vehicle. One bullet point on many of those lists is safety. Are EVs just as safe as gas-only vehicles? Does the weight of a car’s electric battery make it unsafe? One popular model, the 2022 and 2023 Rivian R1T has proved itself by earning the highest safety award. For the first time, the new Rivian electric pickup truck is the winner of a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

2022-23 Rivian R1T wins Top Safety Pick Plus award

The Rivian R1T electric pickup truck is an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus winner
A Rivian R1T electric truck | Rivian

According to, the all-electric Rivian R1T pickup truck has earned a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for the 2022 and 2023 model years. The publication says it earned the award for the first time thanks to its “headlights and strong safety structure.” Not only did the R1T excel in all six IIHS crash-test categories but it also offers “good” rated LED projector headlights and a “front crash-prevention system that earned superior ratings in both vehicle-to-vehicle and daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.”

How does a vehicle win an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus award?

2022 Rivian R1T best eletric truck
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

To earn the coveted Top Safety Pick Plus award, vehicles must earn a good or acceptable rating for its headlights across all trim levels. Additionally, vehicles must also receive “good” ratings across all six of its crash test categories. These categories are driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. Lastly, the vehicle must also earn an “advanced” or “superior” rating for its front crash prevention system in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests.

Startup electric vehicles are safe too


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The 2022 and 2023 Rivian R1T earning the Top Safety Pick Plus award is significant for more than one reason. Obviously, it’s an amazing accomplishment for the startup EV brand and the R1T pickup truck model itself. However, it also shows that these upstart companies can accomplish anything well-known competitors can. There are only a few remaining brand-new automakers creating electric vehicles, but the ones that remain are closely competing with the titans of the industry.

Tesla can be considered one of the startups, but it’s so popular it doesn’t feel like one anymore. However, Rivian, Lucid, Fisker, Nikola, Xiaopeng, and Nio are a few other automakers looking to make a name for themselves. With Rivian earning a Top Safety Pick Plus award, it seems like any of these startups will be able to earn the same accomplishments. In a few years, we could have a whole host of new brands to choose from when buying an electric vehicle, all of which have safety that’s IIHS-approved.

2022-23 Rivian R1T proves itself with IIHS safety award

In conclusion, the 2022 and 2023 Rivian R1T proved itself by winning a Top Safety Pick Plus award. It’s the highest safety award a vehicle can win from the IIHS. While some vehicles are in production for many years without claiming such honors, the Rivian electric pickup truck earned it very early on. Not only is it a big accomplishment for the EV startup, but it proves that other EV startups can produce vehicles just as safe as many of the brands we have all known and loved for a long time.