All-electric powertrains are relentlessly making their way into every segment of the automotive industry, from supercars to family haulers. Now, the overlanding community is getting the zero-emissions treatment with the Rivian R1T pickup truck, which made an appearance at the Overland West festival in Flagstaff, Arizona, last week. The R1T represents the first time an electric vehicle attended the Overland event — but more importantly, should Rivian prove as successful as its fans hope, the off-road community could be on the verge of a very-appropriate shift towards environmentally friendly vehicles.
As it stands now, most overlanding and off-roading is done with rigs powered by big, gas-guzzling engines capable of moving tons of gear, camping equipment and, in some cases, toys like dirtbikes or UTVs. However, all the emissions coming out of the back of those off-roading trucks goes directly against the overlanding ethos of enjoying the environment while simultaneously conserving it and leaving a minimal footprint.
As one of the first all-electric adventure vehicles on its way to market, the Rivian R1T is poised to solve that conundrum. With 754 horsepower and 826 pound-feet of torque on tap, a towing capacity of 11,000 lbs and a claimed maximum range of 400 miles, the R1T already outperforms most of the gas-powered trucks on the market. Add that to the fact it has zero emissions and is capable of powering an entire campsite with its batteries and you’ve got a wildly appealing vehicle for fanatics who love exploring the outdoors while showing it the utmost respect.
Electric power may have been slow to catch on on some automotive segments, but now that the technology has reached a tipping point, the benefits and advantages of battery power are becoming undeniable. The Rivian R1T showing up at Overland West doesn’t mark the end of traditional adventure vehicles as we know it — but it is a sign we’re beginning a new era.