Rivian buyers are opting for the R1T ute over the R1S SUV, and prefer the shorter-range battery to the more expensive long-range option.

    An intrepid Rivian owner has used a voluntary survey posted on a forum to collate an impressive database of who’s buying cars from the electric startup, where they live, what they’re buying, and what they’re replacing.

    According to the data, more than 56 per cent of Rivian buyers have opted for the R1T ute over the R1S SUV.

    Given the R1T is the first to roll off the production line (with the R1S to follow in 2022) it’s possible that split will even out in the long run.

    The vast majority of buyers are sticking with the standard-range battery pack (1446 v 393) good for more than 480km, rather than the biggest pack and its claimed range over 640km. The longer-range pack is US$10,000 (~$13,500) more expensive.

    A similar split of people have opted for the Adventure Pack, which brings a premium faux (vegan) leather cabin with heated and cooled seats, a Meridian sound system with a removable Bluetooth speaker, and in the R1T ute gets you a powered tonneau cover.

    Owners are also overwhelmingly opting for the Off-Road Upgrade, which has extra underbody shielding and tow hooks designed to better protect the car when you’re off the beaten path.

    The pool of electric utes on sale in the USA is set to grow dramatically in the next 12-18 months. Some would-be Rivian owners say they’re also looking at the Ford F-150 Lightning and GMC Hummer EV, along with the Tesla Cybertruck.

    Slightly more than 22 per cent of owners currently own or have previously owned a Tesla.

    Rivian may be focusing on the North American market for now, but Australia looks to be in its future plans.

    It mentioned its global plans in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in a section labelled Long-Term Growth Strategy. Our nation is specifically referenced in two other places in the filing.

    “Our launch is focused on the U.S. and Canadian markets. We intend to enter Western European markets in the near-term, followed by entry into major Asian-Pacific markets,” said the company in the filing.

    “To serve our global demand, we plan to localise production and supply chains in these regions.”

    Manufactured in a factory once owned by Mitsubishi, the two-model Rivian range will be powered by a choice of three different battery packs, with capacities of 105kWh, 135kWh and 180kWh.

    The R1T and R1S will offer up to 505km and 508km of range, respectively, and up to 596kW of power from a quad-motor all-wheel drive powertrain.

    They’ll hit 60mph (96km/h) in 3.0 seconds in their fastest specification.

    Both the R1T and R1S can wade through water up to 1m deep, while the R1T has a payload of 800kg and a 5000kg trailer weight rating.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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