As Rivian is ramping up efforts to start U.S. deliveries of the R1T electric pickup truck in September, two of its prototypes were spotted on the other side of the world in Australia. A camouflaged Rivian R1S SUV and a fully uncovered R1T pickup landed at a Sydney airport this week and were photographed shortly after being unloaded from a cargo plane.
Obtained exclusively by Chasing Cars, the photos aren’t accompanied by an official explanation, so several scenarios are possible. The first would be that Rivian is planning to launch the R1S and R1T in Australia and has shipped the prototypes over for local testing.
Rivian CEO has expressed interest in the Land Down Under since 2019, tweeting that “Australia is an important market for us” not long after receiving a huge investment from Amazon.
Gallery: Rivian R1T and R1S Spotted in Australia
Mind you, both vehicles are left-hand drive while Australia is a right-hand-drive market, but that wouldn’t matter so much as far as testing is concerned. Rivian has already confirmed it will also sell its models in the UK, so the RHD version could be shared with Australia.
Speaking of testing, there’s also the chance that Rivian simply wants to evaluate its electric vehicles in Australia, in punishing places like the Outback, for example. Notice that the R1S SUV has Illinois manufacturer plates, which suggests that the EVs were flown over from Rivian’s plant in Normal.
Finally, one should not rule out the possibility that Rivian wants to shoot a commercial in one of Australia’s many scenic places. Whatever the reason, the reality is Rivian EVs are Down Under and we’ll probably see more of them in the coming weeks.
Until then, US reservation holders are gearing up for the first R1T deliveries in September, with company CEO RJ Scaringe recently reconfirming this launch date. In an update on Rivian Owners Forum, he said that everything is ready and the carmaker is now waiting for regulatory approval to start deliveries.