New images posted on Reddit show the Rivian R1T pickup truck, R1S three-row SUV, and the company's delivery van arriving in New Zealand. While it has been confirmed that Rivian sent the vehicles to New Zealand, tnd that they've arrived, there are no specific details from Rivian about the purpose of the trip.
According to a report by Teslarati, Rivian's electric pickup truck and other vehicles are most likely going to undergo cold-weather testing in New Zealand during the summer months when it's hot in North America.
The photos of the Rivian vehicles originally appeared on the r/Rivian subreddit, posted by u/RobDickinson. He says the photos were taken in Auckland, New Zealand, and the trucks are "likely going to the Southern Proving Grounds for winter testing." He also says the source was on a bus ride with Rivian engineers and they were overheard talking about the testing.
As you can see from the images (check Reddit links above or Teslarati source link below), the R1T and R1S can be seen clearly. They're being unloaded from the vehicles that transported them to their current location. The van isn't easy to notice right away, but if you look closely at the large box truck behind the R1T with the word "Freight" on it, you can see the Rivian delivery van's front end peeking out.
It comes as no surprise if the Rivian trucks will be testing at the Southern Proving Grounds in New Zealand since it's regularly used for winter testing during the summer months in North America. For automakers testing cars in North American, New Zealand provides an opportunity for them to do two back-to-back rounds of winter testing.
Rivian plans to begin delivering its R1T this July 2021. The delivery time was just recently pushed back from June. We've seen the electric startup automaker doing plenty of testing on its vehicles over the past year and more. They've endured desert conditions, rough terrain, and a very long and intense road trip from Patagonia to Los Angeles.