Hybrids & Electrics

Rivian To Take R1T Electric Pickup To Rebelle Rally Off-road Race

There will always be those that are competitive with their vehicles. The type of propulsion system, whether internal combustion engine or all-electric motors, means nothing to them. Instead, they are driven by the thrill of a race and the challenge of succeeding. So, it was only a matter of time before electric vehicle manufacturers started becoming involved in motorsports. Last month, Fisker announced that they were taking their Ocean SUV racing. Now, it has been announced that Rivian is also going racing with their electric pickup.

Rivian has entered the 4×4 class

A silver Rivian R1T pickup sits at the base of snow-capped mountains
The Rivian R1T all-electric pickup | Rivian

Rivian has an entry in this year’s running of the Rebelle Rally off-road race. According to a press release, the auto manufacturer will use their electric pickup in the 4×4 class. The pilot and navigator are Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe. Neither of them is a stranger to the rally. In fact, twice before the two have been Rebelle Rally champions.

“The Rebelle Rally is the longest competitive off-road navigation rally in the United States. The remote rally will take place over ten days and 2,000 kilometers of stunning roads, dirt roads, trails, dunes, and designated open off-highway vehicle areas across Nevada and California. Teams of two – a driver and navigator – turn in their cell phones, GPS, and Internet-enabled devices and navigate their way to checkpoints of varying degrees of difficulty using only a compass, maps, and road books. It is not a race for speed but precision driving and navigating.”

What is the Rebelle Rally?

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The Rebelle Rally is a woman’s off-road navigational rally. It will be run without spectators. No outside assistance can be provided to the teams. It is as much a durability test as it is a test of a team to work together to navigate difficult terrain over a long distance with no modern electronic mapping aids, just a compass, and a map. The off-road race runs from October 8th to the 17th. 

What is the Rivian R1T?

Rivian has received funding in the past from major players in the auto industry, including Ford, Amazon, Cox Automotive, T. Rowe Price, and others. The company’s intent is to bring the Rivian R1T all-electric pickup truck to market with production beginning in 2021. It is built upon a battery skateboard platform that can be easily modified for other vehicles. The truck will have four electric motors, a 400-mile range, a zero-to-sixty time in 3-seconds, 750 horsepower, and a max towing capacity of 11,000 lbs. The R1T can be pre-ordered now at a starting price of $69,000.

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What Rivian going racing means

Overall, the fact that Rivian is ready to take its product offroading implies that the suspension component system is already pretty well defined for the production model, sans a little fine-tuning. This lends credence to the idea that Rivian is looking pretty strong for its public debut soon. When that is, however, is unknown. 

Additionally, the fact that the Rebelle Rally is embracing electric race vehicles bodes well for the organizers. It seems that they are in-step with the electrification momentum within the automotive industry. In so doing, they are positioning themselves for more racing opportunities and a cleaner carbon footprint in the process. After all, internal combustion engines do not have a copyright on people’s desire for competition.