The all-electric Rivian R1T pickup has a towing capability of up to 11,000 lbs (4,990 kg), but towing might cut the range in half, as one of the first reports showed.

Most recently, The Fast Lane Truck had an opportunity to take a Rivian R1T for a real test, in which the pickup was not only towing a trailer with another pickup (8,100 lbs/3,674 kg total), but also was climbing in cold weather.

The R1T has an EPA range of up to 314 miles (505 km), but switching to Towing mode alone reduced the estimated range to 135 miles (217 km), which is less than half. At this point, the truck was fully charged - its state-of-charge (SOC) just switched from 100% to 99%.

The first part of the route confirmed a pretty high energy consumption, at about 1% SOC per mile (2% at peak).

  • Start in Boulder, Colorado:
    SOC: 99%
    Estimated range: 135 miles (217 km) in Towing mode
    Mileage: 2,716 miles
  • Golden, Colorado
    Covered: 27 miles (43 km)
    SOC: 72% (down 27%)
    Mileage: 2,743
  • First destination point
    Covered: 70 miles (113 km)
    SOC: 18% (down 81%)
    Energy consumption: 1.16% SOC per mile
    Estimated range: 24 miles (39 km)
  • Downhill - 8 miles at 7% grade
    mostly regenerative braking, but not gaining many SOC points
  • Fast charging stop for about 30 minutes
    pull in layout of an Electrify America station issue (trailer was blocking the parking lot)
    SOC: 15%
    charging started at 140+ kW, quickly increased to about 150 kW
    peak charging: 152 kW
    decreased to 104 kW at 40% SOC
    increased again later: 124 kW at 51% SOC
  • Uphill
    very fast acceleration demo despite the trailer
    Covered: 8 miles (13 km) using 16% SOC points
    Energy consumption: 2% SOC per mile
  • End
    16% SOC left

In the summary, The Fast Lane Truck notes many advantages of the Rivian R1T: stable, quiet, comfortable, quick. A little bit of a surprise is that the regenerative braking on the downhill did not recover as much energy as expected.

On the downside, the range is not high enough for the tough towing and there are issues with charging (not many stations suited for vehicles with trailers and not high enough power output).

Nonetheless, the Rivian R1T made it and it should be fine with smaller and lighter trailers.

Gallery: Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T specs:

  • Range:
    314 miles (505 km)
    400+ miles (644+ km) version (2023)
    250+ mile (402+ km) affordable version to follow
  • battery capacity of about 135 kWh
    9 modules, 2170-type cylindrical cells (7,776), supplied by Samsung SDI
    voltage: 216-459 V; capacity: 360 Ah
  • 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 3.0 seconds
  • quad motor, all-wheel drive
    four asynchronous motors (one per wheel for full torque vectoring)
  • system output of up to about 562 kW
    (four motors - 162-163 kW each for a raw total of 650 kW)
  • on-board charger: 11.5 kW (AC Level 2); up to 25 miles of range per hour of charge
  • DC fast charging: up to 140 miles of range in 20 minutes (up to 210 kW)
  • wading depth: 3+ ft (more than 0.91 m)
  • curb weight: 6,949 lbs (3,152 kg)
  • towing capacity: up to 11,000 lbs (4,990 kg)
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