Rivian R1T Is A Real Electric Pickup Truck, But Atlis XT Is Not


When something looks way too good to be true, it usually is.

Rivian made an impressive debut of its R1t pickup truck at the 2018 L.A. Show in November. The response to the introduction of a legit 400-mile all-electric pickup was overwhelming. So perhaps it’s not surprising to see the blogosphere go gaga again when an outfit called Atlis Motor Vehicles last announced another battery-powered truck on the way. The Atlis XT promises even more range, faster charging, and a lower starting price.

But anybody who thinks the two companies are equally viable has been inhaling emissions from a Ford F150. This head-to-head rundown should clear things up. See what looks like hype to you.

Company Background

Atlis: The Mesa, Ariz.-based company was founded in July 2016 by Mark Hanchett. His main previous professional experience was in the field of electric weapons (tasers) and projectiles. It appears that the company has fewer than a half-dozen employees. Ross Compton, the lead vehicle designer, completed studies in automotive design from U.K.’s Coventry University four years ago. His most notable experience since then is fully designing the Bollinger Motors B1 prototype, another unproven electric truck contender. Atlis Motor Vehicles has yet to raise a targeted $1 million to build its first prototype.

Atlis XT

Rivian: Irvine-Calif.-based Rivian was founded in 2009 and is led by R.J. Scaringe, who has a doctorate in engineering from MIT’s Sloan Automotive Laboratory. The company currently has about 600 employees spread across facilities in Irvine, San Jose, and Plymouth, Mich. – as well as Normal, IL where it acquired a former Mitsubishi plant. Jeff Hammoud, Rivian’s vice-president of vehicle design, was the former chief of design for the Jeep brand. The company has raised about $450 million through several rounds. Its backers include the Sumitomo Corporation of America and Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel Company.

Range and Charging

Atlis: Forget about ultra-fast 350-kW charging, the fast standard expected to arrive later this year. That’s not fast enough for Atlis, which wants to use 1.5-megawatt charging that could top up a 300-mile EV in less than 15 minutes. But in five years, according to Atlis, you can get the job done in a 500-mile Atlis electric truck in five minutes. No details on how big the battery will be in the 500-mile Atlis XT.

Atlis is also sidestepping existing CCS or CHAdeMO charging standards in favor of developing its own system (that will be backward compatible with existing protocols.) For home Level 2 charging, the Atlis onboard charger ramps up the J1772 to its 19.2-kilowatt limit. The company is also talking about building its own next-generation charging stations as well as establishing a proprietary national charging network a la Tesla Superchargers. Atlis’s website includes an explanation of why the company thought about battery swapping and hydrogen – but decided against them.

Rivian R1T

Rivian: Back on Earth, the R1T will use the well-established CCS DC fast charging at up to 160 kilowatts. That means adding about 200 miles of range in 30 minutes. The onboard AC charger is an 11-kW unit. Rivian plans to offer three battery sizes: 105 kWh, 135 kWh, and 180 kWh. That equates to 230, 300 and 400 miles. The first product will be the 400-mile version.

The Truck Itself

Atlis: The Atlis XT truck, designed as a working man’s pickup, has only been seen in digital form. It’s hard to list the specific features for the Atlis because it’s entirely configurable. The pickup’s bed layout could be a 6.5-footer, 8-footer, or have no bed at all. Its four motors, one at each wheel, allow a top speed of 120 mph with a zero-to-60 performance in five seconds. Ground clearance ranges from 12 to 15 inches. Towing capacity could be anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 pounds with trailer capabilities up to 35,000 pounds. Atlis says the fully loaded dually-version of the XT can climb a six-percent grade at 65 miles per hour.

Atlis XT Pickup Truck

Rivian: The Rivian R1T is an outdoor adventure truck. The company gave a few rides in working pre-production models when it debuted the truck at the 2018 L.A. Auto Show. It’s been nearly a year since the company completed cold-weather testing. Like the fantastical XT, the Rivian R1T also has four motors, one at each wheel. Each motor is rated at 174 horsepower, so total output approaches a mind-boggling 800 ponies. Trips to 60 happen in about three seconds with the 135-kWh version. The R1T has a short 55-inch bed to maximize passenger space. Ground clearance is 14 inches, but it can ford water up to 39 inches.


Atlis: This is where Atlis goes completely off the rails. The company expects to begin selling the XT in 2020 for as low as $45,000. All sales will be direct — no dealerships. In a clever alternative, you can take home an XT in an all-inclusive subscription (including maintenance and charging) for $700 a month. In this scheme, you can get a new long-range, electric pickup every three to seven years. Atlis says it will establish its own network of service centers. You can get on the reservation list now for free – or become an investor at StartEngine.com.

Rivian R1T

Rivian: The base price for the 230-mile version of the R1T truck is $62,000. But the first vehicle available from Rivian, starting in 2020, will be the 400-mile version. The price for that longer-range model has not yet been announced. Rivian will also sell direct via the Internet, where today you can place a $1,000 refundable deposit. The company also plans to establish branded “experience centers” for learning about the trucks and taking a test drive.

The countdown begins to see who can deliver and who is dreaming.

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105 Comments on "Rivian R1T Is A Real Electric Pickup Truck, But Atlis XT Is Not"

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They both look like paper .. er, ah .. ‘proper’ trucks to me.

At least the Rivian is a production prototype that actually performs as advertised.

Nope. Rivian is not only real, they have a factory and lots of employees.

And a big factory at that. The former Mitsubishi plant is about 2/3 the size Fremont was when Tesla got it, though Tesla has since added to it. It produced about 250,000 vehicles a year.

As long as there are only CGI videos and nicely built mockups, both of them are not real. However Rivians CGI driving footage is clearly better.

It depends if you consider Rivian‘s dragstrip performance 180kWh battery (ha!) or Atlis‘ 1500kW charging capability (ha ha ha!) more realistic.

I guess Tesla pickup will still be first.

Rivian has shown a real working prototype.

So it did show 3s 0-60? Had a 180 kWh battery? As far as i remember the car shown drove onto the stage at walking pace.
The driving-through-the-mud-scenery is CGI.

If that is CGI, it is the best CGI I have ever seen. I have been to the places in the video, the start in Portland Oregon and follow the actual route to the beach. I see no indication of CGI, nor do I find anyone on the net who thinks it is. Why do you think it is CGI and not a production ready prototype?

The video is likely real. Those prototypes are built for testing in real life environments and not just for dog and pony shows.

You could visit Normal, IL and jump out in front of one driving by and let us know if it was real.


I am sure he would claim the gray matter on the pavement from your suggestion was not his but also CGI.

Rivian has mules running around.

Rivian is going to beat Tesla to market. And the Tesla might be more superduty work truck.

If I were you, I would not bet on that first.
And lets hope that Tesla is far more like the Atlis than the Rivian.
The Rivian is for rich goat ropers, not doing working work with.
Heck, I suspect the el camino was a better choice for work than Rivian.

Good point about the Tesla truck. Track record is they are hard to beat.

Which one has a factory? They cost lots of $$$$.
My bet is on Rivian unless some spoilsport (the usual suspects) buys them out and closes them down.

The Fully Charged piece on the Rivian is well worth watching. This is no press puff piece.

Rivian’s factory is in Irvine California. They have the address on their website.

I think that you are wrong about the factory.
Their wikipedia page says that the factory is in Illinois.
https://en wikipedia org/wiki/Rivian
To quote
Rivian is an American automotive technology company with research and development operations in Plymouth, Michigan; San Jose, California; and Irvine, California.[1] The firm also has a factory in Normal, Illinois,[2][3] and an engineering facility in the United Kingdom.

Just looked at their website. Irving is where batteries and controls are built and it looks like Normal is final assembly. They seem kind of scattered

No, they bought the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, IL. I drove by it last summer, lots of activity and the parking lot was absolutely full – of recalled VW’s.

Ya, looks like Normal is final assembly and Irving is just batteries and electronics.


Irving, Irvine… What’s one letter between fiends… er, friends? 😉

Thank you.

Rivian’s factory is in Illinois. IIRC, it is the old Mitsubishi factory that had been shut down fairly recently.

> The Fully Charged piece on the Rivian is well worth watching.

I can’t find that video on Fully Charged’s YouTube channel.

Me neither.

It was released Today and is probably only for their Patreon subscribers at the moment. Sorry.

Not really important since both of them are concepts. The fact that you may be able to pre-order something is not proof of it ever making it to market.

The Rivian is prototyped.

Rivian has working prototypes. Atlis has renderings.
Rivian has a large auto plant they got for peanuts (like Tesla did theirs). Atlis has no factory.
The Atlis render is nice. Really, I like it. But come on, there is no comparison between the companies. Of course I wish good luck to both.


If there’s one thing I learned from this article, it’s that Altis have a very good graphic artist doing their CGI.

Me too! From initial pictures, I thought they had a prototype already. Very good cgi.

Yeah, that boggled my mind – those pics are very realistic!

Yeah… I looked at the Altus “investor” page when announced. They have a long way and a lot of reality checks before they can build an actual prototype… 5 years would be optimistic.

Looks of the Atlis are so so so much better! Rivian front end just looks weird. Learn from the 1st gen Leaf; don’t know any guys would prefer a the weird look of the Rivian to the Bad @$$ look of the Atlis. Get a clue people! Tough looks on a truck sell big time. Weird not so much.

Difference is the Rivian is real. The Atlist is just CGI.

Could Rivian hire the Atlis’s designer maybe? That way we maybe get a real truck, and one we also would be embarrassed to be seen in? Also then the Atlis designer would actually have a real job at a going concern.

I suspect that Rivian wants — and has — real automotive designers, not CGI artists unconstrained by real-world limits such as physics, structural strength, and the economics of mass production.

Hopefully they change the front

Agreed 100%. The Rivian emoji face is just weird and generally, weird doesn’t sell cars, or trucks. You can be distinctive and unique without going into the world of strange. The Atlis hits the mark pretty well. Also the Atlis’s front gate idea is brilliant! Rivian should consider this as well. Make the truck as useful in the front as the back.

For a vaporware start up, Atlis did really well with the graphics and conceptual design. Where they fail is the outrageous and obviously bogus performance claims and laughable price tag. They went a bridge too far and I can’t see how anyone can take them serious.

I kind of like it and want one.

Agree with you on all fronts. The Rivian is a really cool concept over all, but those lights, and face, ugh.

Atlis feels like a scam to be. Those claims are just so far out there that I bet they’re just trying to dupe investors. The CGI looks fantastic, but that just makes it a really well done scam.

I think they appeal to different markets. The Rivian is for those wealthy tech bros and gals that want to outwardly portray an outdoor adventure image and lifestyle. The Atlis is geared more to people that want to portray a tough and manly image and say (like all big truck owner dudes) “I have a big truck, therefore, I have a big d!ck”.

Where I live, there are loads of women that drive trucks that look like the Atlis too. I’m not sure what that means, or says…

Yeah but those small dik techies are very limited

I like the unique look of the Rivian front. Remember you will be driving the truck, not having sex with it. You will not be able to see the truck’s front while you are driving it.

You don’t sound like a typical truck buyer.

Like the truck owners who are attracted to the view of a huge set of nuts/balls from behind?

I can never figure out if they just like the look of their own truck nuts from the rear end, or if they are trying to attract other truck bros to look at their nuts from behind.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Yeah. Pickup truck are very low on my list to date and have relations with ( small 🍆)

Put the Atlis front end on the Rivian body and I would be very happy.

For the purposes of clarification – Ross Compton was the designer of the Bollinger Motors B1 prototype and did more than simply provide ‘sketches and renderings’. If you wish to see more of my work and/or to enquire about any of my past experiences in the automotive industry I am more than happy to divulge. Please feel free to get in touch. Additionally I am pleased to announce that the $1million has been raised – a few days back. Thank you for your review, I look forward to reading more in due time.

Godspeed my man! You designed a beautiful truck.

Regardless of the final outcome, this a great design; second to none in my opinion. Best of luck.

And I just put my money where my mouth is: Invested in 3900 shares. Godspeed.

What is the name of the shares on the new york stock exchange? I can’t seem to find it.

They are not listed publicly. Private share sales through StartEngine. Go to Atlis website https://www.startengine.com/atlis-motor-vehicles and look “invest”. Shares are 29cents/sh but any new investors go on a waiting list as the funding limit of $1.04 million has been reached. 2181 investors so far.

Will the trucks have four wheel steering? That is something I see listed in the specs for the XP skateboard but not for the trucks themselves.

Rivian’s trucks have independent drive on all 4 wheels — or at least, the prototypes do — but not 4-wheel steering. Atlis… well, it doesn’t matter what Atlis’ trucks have, since they are only imaginary.

Ok, ross.
Where are you going to build that?

Thanks for following up. What is the expected coefficient of drag? Is it too early for approximate frontal area measures?

@Ross, can you tell us what PLM/CAD software you are using? Is it Autocad, CATIA, or NX?

I love the design, as I noted in a comment above. So congratulations for that. But you have to admit that Rivian is way ahead on the road to production. This is just the reality of having started many years earlier. Good luck.

Also love the Bollinger. Truly great design.

So 1500kW charging is going to create how much heat? I would be interested to know how large a cable you need to support that kind of charging without liquid cooling of other nonsense.

I think the 1500 kw version is only available with the Hydrogen Fuel-Cell option. Put it this way – anything you choose or don’t will be the correct answer.

At Least Rivian has 2- COUNT ‘EM – TWO- vehicles.

I think they want a high price for the first 2 since if they sold one they wouldn’t have that many available for sale any longer.

I remember the VW BUZZ that also had ridiculous specs, and then we find out the thing can maybe go 25 mph, and has a range of around 40 miles from its few lead-acid batteries in the thing. BIG DEAL. I rather expect the same here.

You do realize that Rivian has two working prototypes right?

I just said that.

Sorry, thought you meant two types of vehicles, and you were discussing pricing strategies for the models.

Look at how the Tesla semi charges, it uses multiple cables to carry all the hot electrons.

I’m trying to “LOOK” at how the Semi charges. Curiously – every time one is near a supercharger, they show the wrong side of the TRUCK!!!

Of course, the person taking the video can’t be that dumb. There’s no point in making the video if you aren’t going to show any useful information. Or maybe there was a deal like many car companies do that videos are allowed to “TEASE” but not show dashboards, seats, etc. Here we’re not allowed to see how the thing plugs in – so there is something that to be charitable about it – they don’t want to show just yet.

The Tesla semi charger port has 8 cable connectors, at least on the prototypes.


Without any real specs for the ‘cluster – of – 8″; I’m not really sure what I am looking at – and if you are honest – neither are you. The link you provided had the guy honestly admit that he is not qualified to make even an estimate, and the KMAN dude lies about how cold it is in his videos.

So – no offense – we have no competent or truthful evaluations of the thing to date. Now if they’d show the other side of the truck, possibly we wouldn’t see this connector at all. It is possible they just have a Jerry-rigged arrangement to press supercharger cords into service. Nothing officially as to what the finished truck will actually have has been released.

Liquid cooling of cables, massive radiators with liquid to liquid heat exchangers for battery and controllers. All for 45K no doubt!

Look at my next comment: I think that for practicality, all the refrigeration plant is going to be located at the “Ultra-Mega-Superdooper” charger Coral, and the only requirement that the truck has will be a HOME 20 kw charge rate which the Cab Air conditioner can do. This also has the benefit that the refrigeration losses do not take charging power away from the charging cables, since the stationary refrigeration plant is separately powered.

Just a quick comment on the “liquid cooling nonsense”. If the industry ever gets around to this rate of charging for a personal vehicle (I’m at a loss to understand who is going to pay for all this happiness for a PERSONAL vehicle), then the only practical way I see them doing it is to having a chilled glycol system back at the charging coral which will send chilled glycol through an insulated chilled glycol supply hose out to the truck, and then through the truck’s batteries picking up a few degrees of heat, and then returning uninsulated from the colocated electric cables- picking up more heat from the charging cable, since the cable can withstand more heat than the battery, and besides, it more or less halves the amount of cooling water required since glycol returning HOT can be economically cooled first by just a propeller fan, prior to using expensive refrigeration. It makes no sense to Carry around all this refrigeration plant crap on the truck, since the fastest charge rate at home is going to be in the 20 kw range supposedly, and the truck’s air conditioner is adequate for that rate. Now of course variations would… Read more »

when looking at the truck’s plug, I did not see what appeared to be liquid hookups.
So, I do not think that they are doing that. Hopefully, they will have better refrigeration on the truck.
Perhaps it can be used to run a refrigerator load when not chilling the battery.

Who said anything about Tesla? I was responding to Liquid Cooling Nonsense.

No the Tesla Superchargers are ‘totally dry’, therefore the semi truck hookup to them must be totally dry.

Now if you are not talking about the Tesla Semi but are referring to the ATLIS, then nothing matters since the thing is a total CGI joke in the first place and the builders have no concept of the reality required to do what they want to do. Unless they have home grown cigarette pack sized Nuclear Power Plant technology.

But I remember that first we were supposed to get Nuclear Powered Vacuum Cleaners and NP Elevators.

Tesla has had both dry and liquid cooled superchargers. They had some publicly available way back in 2015 that anyone could charge from. They have the tech sitting in their back pocket any time they want/need to upgrade their modular superchargers.

But you know this, because you posted repeatedly on that story:


Please list where all of the liquid cooled ones are in common use. Or is that just more verbal effluent from you? Its just the cable and possibly the car connector they were talking about in that article. Calling it a Liquid Cooled Supercharger is worthy of the SuperDope Moniker- see – its really me not someone else.

The supercharger equipment bays are air-cooled.

I’m the only one who has repeatedly mentioned anything further, as I’ve done here..

I like Rivian because they have been quietly working on something very real and very original while Altis is on a fishing expedition, for example the front of the Atis with all the phoney scoops, should have made the scoops so they could doubles as foot holds…..little things like that…. far to much to soon which always results in nothing in the end.
Altis also looks like the body was basically an older Ford F150 updated, nice but not original.
Only time will tell.

The design language for this prototype design functions the same way ALL prototype designs work in the automobile industry

The function to draw eyes and draw attention. Production cars are different than designs for prototype cars.

Yeah, Atlis has a loooong way to go. Nice appearance, though.

The only thing of which I’m skeptical about Rivian is price. Not only the rumored $90k+ price for the 180kWh version, but even the $62k for the 135kWh version (due later, like in 2020 or so). I don’t think even Tesla, who does have the best prices in the industry (with actual products in customers’ hands), could do that in 2021, never mind a startup with their first product entering production toward the end of this year!

It does seem Rivian’s quoted prices are aspirational rather than realistic.

Well, let’s not forget that only a few short years ago, it was the norm for EVs to have their price go up as their EV range went down, as they approached actual production. “Underpromising and overdelivering” definitely isn’t the norm for new models of EVs.

Trucks are easy to build and cheap as well

The Rivian is not really a truck. It will take your few bags of garbage to the end of the lane at your country estate, but is largely useless as a truck for anything valuable. If plywood doesn’t fit, you must acquit.

The R1T is a truck, built on a truck body. Now, I wouldn’t call it a pickup, not with that extra-extra short bed; I’d call it a SUT, like the Honda Ridgeline. But Rivian’s R1T and R1S (the SUV) certainly are light trucks.

I have carried 4×8 plywood and drywall inside my Toyota SUV with a couple feet sticking out the back. I have carried queen size mattresses and box springs strapped on the roof. I have carried a washer and drier pair fully contained inside the back of the SUV. I have carried a gigantic fully assembled elliptical exercise machine with way too much of it stick out the back. I have seen youtube videos of people (Russians?) carrying cows and horses inside tiny sedans. Where there is a will there is a way. I am confident one could do the same on the Rivian truck.

Ridgeline is not a truck then

For my purposes, a truck needs to occasionally pull my 8000 lb boat. The R1T will do that – the Honda does not even come close.

Glad to see this article. Rivian looks as real as Tesla did in its early years… or even better, since Rivian already owns an abandoned auto assembly plant.

Contrariwise, the level of unrealistic claims and hype coming from Atlis is almost at Faraday Future levels. Potential investors should run, not walk, away from Atlis. We can be almost absolutely sure that any money “invested” in that company will go to nothing but paying for salaries and perks for people doing nothing of real value.

I saw the crowdfunding site before this article and I though it was a scam. How can a team of 6 people and 1 million dollars build a car company through crowdfunding? It seems totally unrealistic including the specs they tout. I am glad insideevs is writing this warning.

Well they were the ones that promoted them

Vaporware exposed!

It’s obvious the Rivian is far more realistic, and far more likely to go into production…but it’s so disappointing, cause the Atlis truck is a far, far, nicer truck. I hope The Tesla pickup has some Atlis styling, cause it’s what 90% of truck owners out there want.

Atlis sound like a load of hot air and hyping just like Faraday Future did.

“That’s not fast enough for Atlis, which wants to use 1.5-megawatt charging that could top up a 300-mile EV in less than 15 minutes”

Porsche recently demo’d adding 62 miles of range in just 3 minutes using a 400kW charger (https://electrek.co/2018/12/13/porsche-electric-car-prototype-record-400-kw-charge-rate). Ignoring charge tapering for a minute, that means it can add 310 miles in 15 mins.

Why does Atlis need 375% more power for their charger to add less range.

The Porsche can’t tow a house while accelerating from 0-100 in 1 second, nor carry Andre the Giant’s dead carcass around like Tesla’s pickup supposedly can.

Of course, the Porsche might actually be a real car that they’ll make at least 1000 copies. That puts them in a whole different class of reality.

Big oil is strong in the comments today

So you’re saying that the Rivian is a cash burning, limited option company and Atlis is a light on it’s feet visionary company?

Both of the trucks are impresive.

They both sound like every EV unveil I’ve seen from legacy over the past 12 months….Look at this shiny new thing….we don’t know how much and the range depends on how you react to the range we’ll pull out of our behinds. We also don’t know when and it certainly won’t be that many…by the way, did you see our shiny new thing (insert brand in bold here)

Atlas is still in start up mode. I think this article is very unfair and is just trying to discredit the forward thinking that Atlis has. Kudos to Rivian for the hard work they have done! It’s a very cool vehicle and would love to try one. Atlas HAS actually made it over the 1 million mark and will be putting together an actual prototype soon. The drivetrain setups are very similar. Im excited to these types of vehicles being designed! There are some major differences in that Rivian has started much sooner and has moved forward swiftly. I applaud them. However, writing an article like this in which much of the information is misleading, is not setting well with me. I do like the looks of the Atlis better, if that is what the finished product will be. For now, Rivian is very close to production. Atlas will still be a while and that’s fine. There’s more than one burger joint in town and they didn’t all produce at the same time. I think over the next 5 years, the EV market will be very interesting for sure.

What are you guys are talking about here, Rivian has a fully working prototype. Battery lab, assembly plant and tons of intelligent people working for them. Now it is just a matter of time to get the truck to market. Atlis is about 4 years behind, they will not be able to deliver Trucks in 2021 but perhaps in 2022, we will have that heavy duty Atlis trucks for work. These things take time and investments. Based on how much work Rivian and Atlis are putting in I can see room for both down the line. FYI – I have not been inhaling fumes from F150 :p