The world is moving toward electric vehicles, and two unique models in the truck class are the Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck.
Both offer a different way to buy them, with most sales taking place online with deliveries taking place at homes or regional centers. This is a change from the traditional dealership we’re used to seeing. These two models are electric trucks from brands that make nothing but electric vehicles. You know the Tesla name well, but Rivian is the newcomer in the market with its pair of models. From here, we should see many differences between these two tracks.
Tesla Follows its CEO With a Boisterous Truck
The Cybertruck is easily an over-the-top model with its sharp-edged style and stainless-steel bodywork. When did we last see a vehicle wearing stainless-steel body panels; that would be when we saw the DeLorean DMC-12, which eventually became the time machine of the Back to the Future Series? This sharp-edged truck is a performance machine reflective of Elon Musk’s over-the-top personality. The Cybertruck is made to be more of an on-road performance vehicle that can rocket this truck to insane speeds using the three-motor build.
The Rivian R1T is Much More Conventional
If you want an electric truck that looks more like a truck, the Rivian R1T is the truck you want to drive. This vehicle uses a four-motor layout to give you a model that handles the wilderness easily and offers a traditional truck bed. You’ll see styling elements that will likely become the signature of this brand, but mostly you’ll find a truck that looks like a truck. A distinct feature of the R1T is the unibody construction that brings you a smoother ride on any road.
Style is a Huge Difference
Even though we covered it, the styling of the Rivian R1T is much different from the Tesla Cybertruck. The Tesla model doesn’t look like a truck. If all you saw were a vehicle profile, you would think a child drew it with a protractor and not by actual car designers. Even the wheel arches are angular. Looking to the Rivian, we see a truck. You won’t mistake this vehicle for anything else; It has a crew cab and a traditional bed. The only thing missing is the body-on-frame construction found in most trucks.
A Look in the Cabin Areas
The interior area of the Tesla delivers a conventional four-door build that offers seating for up to six people. You won’t find any switches or dials in this truck. Instead, you see an impressive display screen that gives you all the necessary controls. The steering apparatus is a yoke-style rectangle that can’t be described as a wheel. This truck is expected to have Autopilot with a hands-free driving mode to give you some driving without the need to put your hands on the wheel. A glass roof allows the sun in to make this cabin feel a little airier.
The conventional style that meets an impressive electric truck continues to the interior of the R1T. There are two large touchscreens on the dashboard to give you the instrumentation and infotainment the way you expect in other models. The seats and dashboard offer stylish materials that give this truck the feeling expected of a traditional vehicle. The only oddity to the steering wheel is the flat-bottom sporty nature. This Rivian model offers Driver+, a hands-free driving system that works well on most roadways.
These Two Trucks Offer Differing Performance Qualities
We’ve highlighted the powertrain differences between the Rivian R1T and the Tesla Cybertruck. The Tesla model comes with three configurations based on the number of electric motors that drive this truck. The single-motor layout drives the rear axle and gives you 250 miles of driving range. Add a second motor, and you can drive for 300 miles while the tri-motor layout returns 500 miles of driving. With the tri-motor model, you’ll have better acceleration, reaching 60 mph in only 2.9 seconds as you add each motor to the mix.
The Rivian R1T uses a four-motor layout with one motor at each wheel regardless of the trim level. The first models have a 300-mile driving range, but a longer-range version is coming that will give drivers up to 400 miles of driving. A lower-range version is also planned to provide 250 miles of driving and arrive at a more affordable price. The R1T delivers 800 horsepower and 900 lb-ft of torque to provide you acceleration to reach 60 mph in 3 seconds. This truck is made for driving on the trails with 14 inches of ground clearance and the capability to drive through up to three feet of water.
These Are Trucks; how Much Can They Tow?
The Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck aren’t just shown pieces; they are trucks and offer capabilities to do truck stuff. The tri-motor version of the Cybertruck can weigh two 14,000 pounds and has a max payload of 3,500 pounds. The bed is 6.5-feet long, giving you ample room for long cargo, especially if you put the tailgate down. There’s also a front storage area that gives you additional cargo capabilities.
Looking to the Rivian R1T, you can tow up to 11,000 pounds and carry 1,760 pounds in the bed. The bed is only 4.5 feet long with the tailgate up, but it becomes more than seven feet long with the gate down. There’s also a pass-through cargo area that Rivian calls the Gear Tunnel. This area is between the cab and the bed of the truck. This space is lockable and is perfect for some of the smaller gear you need to take with you.
Even though these two trucks are both electric models from EV companies, they are incredibly different applications of what we expect from a truck. Will the Rivian R1T, with its traditional build, become the EV truck you want to drive? If not, could the Tesla Cybertruck give you the driving experience you desire with its unique body?
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