The Rivian R1T – the first electric pickup to enter production globally – is soon to arrive in Australia, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one on local roads.

    Australian firm MEVCO (the Mining Electric Vehicle Company) today announced it had secured an unspecified number of Rivian R1Ts to supply to local mines.

    It follows the company posting about an evaluation vehicle being driven near Perth earlier this year, with that particular R1T being one of the few examples seen locally after the US brand tested its prototypes in Australia three years ago.  

    MEVCO will modify the Rivian R1T to be used both above and below ground in local mines, and will support mining companies adding the electric pickup to their fleets with the necessary charging infrastructure to support the battery-powered vehicle.

    “The Rivian R1T is widely acclaimed for its on and off-road capabilities, and its robust design and adaptability make it the ideal candidate to meet the many challenges mining presents,” MEVCO CEO Matt Cahir said in a media statement. 

    “The integration of Rivian’s technology with MEVCO’s proven track record in mining-specific electric vehicles is poised to yield a fleet that exceeds the requirements of the most demanding operators.

    “The shift to electric solutions extends beyond environmental and financial advantages. It is about fostering a safer, healthier environment for mine operators, particularly in subterranean settings where the elimination of tailpipe emissions is paramount.”

    It was previously believed the Rivian R1T would face stumbling blocks to being used in local mines as it doesn’t have a five-star ANCAP safety rating – a requirement by a majority of mining companies – because it isn’t sold in Australia.

    However, in its media statement, MEVCO noted the Rivian R1T is the only pickup on sale in the US to earn a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

    As with ANCAP scores, the IIHS rating only provides an educated assessment of a vehicle’s safety in certain tested situations, and is not a government-endorsed award.

    While many see the mining sector as a major contributor towards rising emissions, electric vehicles (EVs) such as the Rivian R1T are seen as an important part of reducing CO2 output underground, providing a cleaner workspace for those working below the surface.

    The Rivian R1T isn’t the only EV in MEVCO’s fleet which it’ll supply to Australia’s mines, with the company last year signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Australian-based international electric truck manufacturer SEA Electric to convert 8500 Toyota HiLux utes and LandCruisers to battery power by 2028.

    Depending on spec, the Rivian R1T is sold in the US with a choice of dual- and quad-motor layouts, producing from 397kW and 827Nm to 623kW and 1231Nm, while offering between 410km and 660km of driving range.

    MORE: Everything Rivian

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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