900 lb-ft of Torque Make the Rivian Electric Truck a Towing Beast, But the New Toyota Tundra Still Has 1 Major Advantage

Looking for an efficient tow rig? The all-new Rivian electric truck can out-tow most any half-ton for the first hundred miles. But the battery-powered pickup truck falls behind in the long haul. Here’s how it stacks up to the new 2022 Toyota Tundra.

The Rivian electric truck has an 11,000 pound towing capacity

This is a yellow and a green Rivian electric truck parked in the mountains.
2022 Rivian R1T trucks | Rivian

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The new Rivian electric truck is an absolute towing beast. The 2022 R1T is not only the first electric truck on the market, it’s the first electric vehicle with four separate motors. This quad-motor drivetrain gives the Rivian supertruck abilities.

Each one of the Rivian’s four motors makes more than 200 horsepower. That’s like having a first-gen Cummins powering each wheel. The resulting truck makes 835 horsepower and 908 lb-ft of torque.

It’s not a surprise that the Rivian is the quickest truck MotorTrend has ever tested, with a 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds. In addition, all that power translates to an 11,000 pound towing capacity.

The new 2022 Toyota Tundra and Rivian R1T both aced TFL’s towing test

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The team at TFL truck takes every test pickup on the “world’s hardest” towing test: Ike’s Gauntlet. This test includes a section of Interstate Highway over the Rocky Mountains with an eight-mile-long 7% grade. The reviewers use an 8,100 pound trailer and maintain a cruising speed of 60 mph.

The team found the Rivian R1T a “great pickup for towing trailers.” The truck’s air suspension with hydraulic dampers allows auto-leveling. Its 7,100 pound weight makes it a stable towing platform.

“The height-adjustable suspension is very comfortable, even when loaded heavy. I did not experience any trailer sway. There is always more than enough power on tap.”

TFL Truck

It’s illuminating to compare the Rivian electric truck to the new 2022 Toyota Tundra. Both vehicles have an 11,000 pound towing capacity.

While most V8 trucks drop to just 4.0 mpg while towing Ike’s Gauntlet, the Tundra features a fuel-efficient turbocharged V6. So the Tundra completed the gauntlet while only burning the 67 kWh equivalent of gasoline.

The Rivian electric truck was three times more efficient than the new Tundra. The 2022 Rivian R1T used just 21.44 kWh of battery power while churning up the eight-mile mountain.

The Rivian electric truck has to stop and recharge, the Toyota Tundra keeps going

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When TFL Truck took the Rivian electric pickup over “Ike’s Gauntlet” towing an 8,100 trailer, it was three times more efficient than a turbocharged V6. That said, the Rivian truck still went through 16% of its entire battery.

Coming back down the mountain, the truck’s regenerative braking put 2% back into its battery. But that’s still a lot of juice for a sixteen mile trip.

When the reviewers first hooked the Rivian electric truck up to the 8,100 pound trailer, they watched the truck’s projected range drop by 50%. With its off-road tires, their truck projected 140 miles of range while trailering.

To make range anxiety even worse, TFL found the Rivian electric truck never charged as fast as advertised. If you’re driving a Rivian R1T, towing a heavy trailer for several miles could easily turn into an all-day affair.

So while the 2022 Toyota Tundra may not technically be as efficient as the Rivian truck, it is the better long-haul tow vehicle. TFL was happy to report that the Tundra had plenty of power in reserve while towing up the Rocky Mountains. It maintained 4.7 mpg in Tow+ mode (4.3 mpg in Tow/Haul mode), and this year’s new transmission cooler did its job.

Best of all, when the 2022 Tundra runs out of gas, you can fill it up in moments and get back on the road.

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