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One of the most popular things consumers question electric trucks for is their overall capability. Can electric pickups tow and haul as much weight as internal combustion engine versions? Models like the Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning boast a high number for towing capacity. However, many people require hard evidence, such as a video example. Well, we’ve got it, here’s a Rivian R1T spotted pulling a semi-truck with ease.

Video: Rivian R1T spotted pulling a semi-truck with ease

In Normal. Illinois, a driver took a video of a Rivian R1T pulling a semi-truck from the side of the road. It seems that the truck was stuck in the mud since it was raining and required the assistance of the electric pickup. According to Electrek, the incident took place on April 13. Moreover, a Redditor named NotNearlyNormal posted the video to the Rivian subreddit, claiming their friend recorded the situation. Coincidentally, Normal, Illinois, is the location of Rivian’s factory.

In the video, you’ll see a class 8 tractor, known as a semi-truck, stuck in a ditch on the side of the road. Then, the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck pulls the roughly 17,000-pound vehicle to safety. It doesn’t look like the R1T struggled at all. As soon as the driver climbs back inside and accelerates, the semi-truck goes with it.

Was this a marketing set up by Rivian?

Blue 2022 Rivian R1T electric pickup truck - a video shows a Rivian R1T was spotted pulling a semi-truck with ease.
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

Many people in the Reddit thread pointed out that this could easily be staged. Moreover, there’s no proof or evidence to know for sure, but it seems too good to be true. In 2022, doing just about anything impressive or slightly out of the ordinary is bound to get filmed and posted online. Did Rivian’s marketing team plant the semi-truck and hope someone would film the R1T pulling it away?

We wouldn’t put it passed them or any other automaker. Furthermore, the video’s location makes it even more suspicious with the Rivian factory nearby. Although regardless of whether the semi-truck was really stuck, the Rivian R1T really pulled it away. Whether it was for marketing or not, the electric truck can tow a lot of weight.

How much weight can a Rivian R1T tow?

The Rivian logo - towing a semi-truck is easy for the electric pickup.
The Rivian logo | Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Every Rivian R1T has an 11,000-pound tow rating. That means the semi-truck was far above its weight class. Although as Electrek pointed out, torque is king in this particular situation. Firstly, the Rivian R1T has four electric motors and two dual-motor drive units, one for the front and rear axle. Next, the dual-motor unit powering the front axle makes 415 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. However, the rear axle unit has even higher torque, 420 horsepower, and 495 lb-ft, to be exact. Combined, the setup delivers a total of 835 horsepower and 908 lb-ft of torque.

With that kind of setup, it isn’t surprising the electric pickup can tow a semi-truck. However, that doesn’t diminish its impressiveness, especially in the rain. If you’re a doubter of the capability of electric trucks, does this video help? Electric pickup trucks are just as capable, if not more, as ICE versions. For 2022, we’re spoiled with the Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning, capable of towing 11,000 pounds and 7,700 pounds, respectively.


The Rivian Electric Truck Is a Towing Monster, But Don’t Expect To Go Far