If you're not aware by now, benchmarking is common in the automotive industry. As the industry is in the midst of a notable transition from gas-powered vehicles to EVs, we may see much more of this going forward. That said, GM Authority has snapped some images of a Rivian R1S electric SUV that appears to be owned by General Motors for the purposes of benchmarking.
We find it interesting and refreshing to learn that more legacy automakers are checking out the work of EV startups. In the past, it would come as no surprise if a brand-new startup automaker was seen testing the work of legacy brands. However, until relatively recently, most legacy OEMs simply weren't producing compelling EVs. For this reason, it comes as no surprise legacy automakers are now checking out compelling and successful electric vehicles from small startups to compare notes and potentially plan for the future.
GM Authority's spy photographers captured images of the Rivian R1S in use by GM's benchmarking team. The publication notes that the photos were snapped near the automaker's proving grounds in Milford, Michigan.
General Motors aims to top Tesla by 2025 as the number one EV producer across the globe. While Tesla only produces a handful of models, the Big Three automotive giant hopes to bring about 30 new electric vehicles to market by 2025. Not only will it offer expensive flagship vehicles like the GMC Hummer EV and the recently revealed Cadillac Celestiq, but also several much more affordable fully electric models.
The Rivian R1S, which is basically a Rivian R1T electric pickup truck with an enclosed cabin and three rows of seats, is one of only a few three-row electric vehicles on the market today. Most early EVs were small, and that remained the case for years. Now, automakers are just beginning to bring larger electric SUVs and electric pickup trucks to market.
GMC's Hummer EV is an electric truck, though it's not for the masses. The automaker has plans to bring a Silverado EV to market in the future, among other electric trucks. Aside from GM's pricey Hummer, Ford is the only other major automaker to date to deliver an electric pickup truck, and the Ford F-150 Lightning doesn't currently have any competition, aside from the Rivian R1T and various gas-powered trucks.
As GM moves forward with plans to bring its electric truck and future electric SUVs to market, benchmarking the Rivian R1S just makes sense. Much like Rivian with the R1T and R1S, GM's using the Hummer EV pickup truck platform for an upcoming electric Hummer SUV. GM Authority writes that this is likely the main reason GM is benchmarking the R1S.
To see more spy images from GM Authority, click on the tweet above or follow the source link below. Once you've had a chance to check everything out, be sure to scroll down and leave us a comment.