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Electric pickup trucks are hitting the scene with force. It feels like every automaker with a pulse is scrambling to design, develop, and release an electric truck. While electric trucks are the popular flavor of the day, there are only a very small few that have made it into the hands of consumers. With that in mind, there are a few very cool electric trucks to compare right now: the Tesla Cybertruck, Canoo Inc. Startup, and the Rivian R1T. All three of these trucks are deeply cool in unique ways, but only one of the matters as of now. 

The Rivian R1T is special

A white R1T parked outside a Rivian office
Rivian is determined to be a major player in the industry. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Rivian will always be special thanks to the startup managing to be the first company to release a production electric pickup truck. As if that weren’t enough to make it special, the R1T is also one of the most spec-heavy vehicles ever made. The list of features, abilities, and extras is nearly overwhelming. 

Rivian went both feet in on the R1T and subsequent R1S. Rivian uses the clever tagline, “A truck built for whatever you call a road…” showing the company’s commitment to delivering a proper pickup truck with an electric powertrain. However, a cute line a great pickup truck does not make. 

Thankfully, the Rivian R1T isn’t just relying on marketing teams. This thing can truck. According to Rivian, the Rivian truck can ford three feet of water, tow 11,000 pounds, clear 14.9 inches, and hit 60 mph in only three seconds. Along with these impressive features and accomplishments, the R1T was always treated as a truck first. Trucks need good storage, and the Rivian’s got it. Between all the many storage compartments like the frunk, gear tunnel, under-seat compartments, and the bed, the Rivian can hold up to 62 cubic feet of storage. 

Most importantly for EVs, the Rivian has range. For the Dual-Motor AWD setup, the R1T can do between 270-400 miles on a full charge. The Performance Dual-Motor AWD version can do 350-400 miles. The top trim comes with the Quad-Motor setup, which is good for 328 miles. Each of these trims offers different performance capabilities, which greatly impacts the range. 

What is a Canoo?

Canoo pickup truck render
Canoo pickup truck | Canoo

The Canoo Inc. Startup is one of the many EV startups that has budded in the past few years. Despite the many others out there, Canoo is certainly one of the coolest. However, as with most EV startups, there is some concern as to when/if Canoo will ever be able to produce its excellent ideas. Let’s check out what they are working on. 

Very unlike the Tesla Cybertruck or the Rivian R1T, the Canoo is a modular system that promises to use the same chassis and platform to create a myriad of different vehicles. Canoo’s website shows multiple versions of trucks, vans, unimog-type vehicles, and more. The idea is incredible and cooler than a catfish at the bottom of the creek. 

The Canoo truck is one of the more interesting offerings. While Canoo has begun taking orders, we have yet to see many Canoo prototypes, although some exist. Canoo did provide three vans for the crew in NASA’s Artemis mission. 

We’ve reported that the 2023 Canoo Pickup truck will be available in both AWD or RWD with dual and rear electric motor configurations. For output, the Canoo Pickup Truck can generate up to 600 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque with the dual-motor configuration and 300 hp and 332 lb-ft with the rear-wheel configuration. These specs, like so many EV truck specs, are nuts. However, when this reporting came out, Canoo said the truck would be available in 2023. While there is still time, we have yet to see any Canoo trucks hit driveways. 

The range of the Canoo truck is a bit of a low point compared to the Tesla Cybertruck and the Rivian R1T. Canoo says the little truck can do 200 miles on a single charge. It’s not horrible, but it’s not great. 

But what it lacks in range, it makes up for in features. Here is a competitive list of Canoo truck features: 

  • Pull-out bed, which expands the bed from a length of six feet to eight feet
  • Dual flip-down tables with two expandable depths — for use as workbenches 
  • The fold-down craftsman bar at the front of the truck enables you to store cargo and plug-in tools
  • Roof rack, which is available in various sizes
  • Safe-step, which provides safe access to the bed and roof rack, along with additional storage
  • Modular bed with space dividers and wall chocks
  • Multi-accessory power plant with multiple charge ports
  • Integrated overhead and bed perimeter lighting
  • Camper-shell ready, with the ability to accommodate a variety of camper shells

What do we know about the Tesla Cybertruck? 

Tesla Cybertruck front 3/4 view
Tesla Cybertruck | Tesla

Honestly, the biggest difference between the Cybertruck, the Rivian R1T, and the Canoo is that we know a bunch about the other two electric trucks and still, somehow, not much about the Tesla. 

In 2019, when the Cybertruck was announced, Tesla dumped out specs and features in an avalanche of sci-fi terms all with kick-ass names. However, as we all know, many things have changed since 2019. 

What we know about the Cybertruck now is a loose handful of vague dimensions, horsepower and range promises, and rumors. Let’s take a closer look. 

The Tesla Cybertruck is said to be a paradigm shift for the truck world. Wild features like dent-resistant stainless steel body panels, one giant windshield wiper, and insane power figures are all meant to come in one of the cheapest EV packages set for the market. 

Tesla says the single-motor version will start at $39,900. The dual-motor truck jumps to $49,900. Lastly, the tri-motor version starts at $69,900. As far as we know, these three motor setups are the only differences in trim—no colors other than brushed steel, no different body styles, packages, or anything else. The more motors you get, the higher the performance output is. At its highest configuration, the Tesla Cybertruck is said to hit 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and can tow 14,000 lbs and haul 3,500 in the bed. The Tesla Cybertruck will have up to 500 miles of range when fully optioned. Again, this is as far as we know. There are still many questions. 

We know that the truck will be the first sub-19-ft pickup truck that will also have a 6-ft bed. On the truck side of things, all configurations of the Tesla truck are said to have adjustable suspension with up to 16 inches of ground clearance. 

The Rivian truck is the only one that matters

These three electric pickup trucks are all extremely cool and impressive in their own unique ways, and in some ways, they all three share. However, the Rivian is the only one with boots on the ground, as it were. 

The Canoo is so cool, but it can only be as cool as the product it can actually make. The same is true for Tesla. The Tesla Cybertruck is one of the most exciting vehicles ever promised to the automotive market. Yet, after nearly five years – although production has officially started – it almost feels like we know less about it the further along we go. 

Rivian is delivering trucks and now SUVs to customers’ houses. There are dealerships and everything. Sure, the Canoo is cheaper and maybe even cooler. The Cybertruck will be a proper game changer if it gets delivered as promised. However, Rivian is here. It’s not a guess. There are no questions. You can just go get one. For that reason, the other two electric pickups don’t get to matter yet.