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The 2022 Rivian R1T just won a major award: the “Truck of the Year” award from MotorTrend. It’s a much-coveted award that’s given to the vehicle deemed to offer the best in terms of reliability, style, and performance. For a brand new electric truck from a startup company to take home such a prestigious award is a big deal. It can only mean good things for Rivian, but what does it mean for Tesla? The Tesla Cybertruck is a long-talked-about electric truck that keeps getting delayed. Should the Rivian R1T’s award be a warning sign that Tesla needs to get it together?

An ice blue 2022 Rivian R1T against a gray background.
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

The 2022 Rivian R1T is a brand new electric truck

It can not be overstated how impressive it is that a brand new electric pickup truck from a startup company has taken home the “Truck of the Year” award. To win the title, the 2022 Rivian R1T had to beat out a large group of strong competitors. GM’s Hummer EV Pickup was another finalist for the award, and with both GM’s reputable name and the Hummer’s flashy history, beating it is quite an achievement.

Fortune also points out that the fact that the 2022 Rivian R1T has won the Best Truck award helps it to “justify its $100 billion market cap.” It also notes that two out of three recent awards have gone to electric vehicles. This proves just how big electric vehicles are becoming. The Rivian R1T’s award demonstrates how well-regarded electric pickup trucks are becoming.

What does Rivian’s award mean for Tesla?

Although Tesla isn’t exactly a stranger to MotorTrend’s awards – it won the 2013 Car of the Year award for the Tesla Model S – it’s been awhile since it brought home anything. In fact, the Tesla Model Y didn’t even make it to the finals for the 2021 award, even though it had been shortlisted.

How about the Tesla Cybertruck? It’s Tesla’s closest competitor to the 2022 Rivian R1T, but the Tesla Cybertruck wasn’t even a contender for the 2022 Tesla Cybertruck. Of course, it isn’t exactly easy to judge a pickup truck that isn’t even out yet, and no one is really sure when it will arrive. Still, it’s thought that the Tesla Cybertruck has received over one million deposits for the Cybertruck. Is Tesla worried about Rivian’s new award? Perhaps it should be.

How is Rivian different from Tesla?

Rivian and Tesla are similar in the sense that they both make electric vehicles. Also similarly to the Rivian R1T, the Tesla Cybertruck will have a quad-motor option. Both companies will sell electric vehicles directly to consumers with no middle-man dealerships in between.

There are some other key differences between the Rivian R1T and the Tesla Cybertruck. The two electric pickup trucks look wildly different. The 2022 Rivian R1T looks like a high-end truck, while the Tesla Cybertruck looks like something out of a science-fiction movie.

The 2022 Rivian R1T deserves its “Truck of the Year” award from MotorTrend, and how Tesla will respond remains to be seen. Perhaps we’ll get an update on when the Cybertruck will make an appearance. The rivalry between these two electric pickup trucks will certainly be something to watch.


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