Can the Rivian Electric Truck Do Actual Truck Stuff?

The 2022 Rivian electric truck has proven itself as both a capable off-roader and the world’s fastest pickup truck. But many drivers wonder how the world’s first electric pickup handles more traditional truck tasks. Luckily several of the Rivian’s first reviewers drove it to the country and pressed it into service.

The Rivian R1T can tow very heavy loads–for short distances

2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

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

When MotorTrend’s editors took the Rivian truck to California’s Farm Sanctuary nonprofit they found towing to be a cinch. The Rivian’s adjustable air suspension and backup assist made lining up with a trailer easy. Normally, the trailer hitch lives under a removable panel, but pulling the panel away only takes seconds.

The Rivian electric truck boasts an incredible 11,000 pound towing capacity. That puts it on par with the absolute highest tow ratings of half-ton trucks. Many half-ton trucks, with higher axle ratios or entry-level engines can’t tow anywhere near 11,000 pounds.

What’s more, the all-electric Rivian has all 908 lb-ft of torque available from a standstill. Its four-corner air ride suspension offers auto leveling to keep it from squatting under load.

But the testers at TFL Truck found that when they began to tow with the Rivian, the strain cut its range in half. Because the top-trim Rivian’s maximum range is 314 miles without a trailer, it might not be a good choice for pulling your Airstream on a long road trip. See MotorTrend tow with the R1T in the video below:

Learn more about the Rivian truck towing capacity.

The Rivian truck handles payloads with ease

2022 Rivian R1T | TFL Truck via Youtube

When the reviewers of TFL Truck got to test a Rivian truck, they took it to a ranch in Colorado. There, they loaded the pickup truck with logs. The Rivian electric truck’s payload capacity is 1,419 pounds and TFL maxed it out, then drove it down a snowy mountain.

The reviewers found that in off-road mode, the truck easily handled the loaded trek down the mountain. Its regenerative braking even recharged its batteries.

Tommy Mica said of the Rivian hauling the logs, “It’s handling it. And it’s handling it with a lot of composure…It has air suspension so it didn’t squat at all.”

Even at high speed on paved roads, the Rivian had no trouble with the heavy load. Watch TFL test its hauling in the video below:

Read more about the Rivian truck bed.

The Rivian R1T is a good truck for certain jobs

Rivian electric truck hauling a load of logs down the side of a snowy mountain.
2022 Rivian R1T | TFL Truck via Youtube

RELATED: The Rivian R1T Completes First Electric Transcontinental Overland Expedition

Depending on the reasons you need a truck, the Rivian R1T does not make a bad farm truck. It can haul heavy payloads, off-road, with ease. It can also save you time hooking up to trailers and easily pull them around off-road.

That said, the Rivian R1T does not excel at long distance trailering. In addition, its bed is only 4.5-feet long. Even its cleverly engineered tailgate, which extends its load deck to 6.9 feet, does little for hauling loose loads such as dirt or gravel.

Next, find out whether you can run power tools from the Rivian truck outlets.

RELATED: Rivian R1T Electric Pickup Trounces the Ram 1500 TRX in a Drag Race