Is this one of the first right-hand drive Rivian electric vehicles?
Reddit user shammyrocked uploaded a series of photos showing a Rivian R1T electric pickup that has been converted into a right-hand drive safari vehicle for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) in Kenya.
The Rivian R1T‘s original roof has been removed and replaced with a high golf cart-like roof, and there are also eight individual seats instead of the typical five-seat setup.
Other notable modifications include a small windscreen, front bull bar, and two spare tyres mounted on the tailgate.
In October 2022 the MWCT announced a pilot project in partnership with Rivian to supply four R1Ts for “vital conservation work in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way possible”.
They are claimed to be used for anti-poaching patrols, transport for Maasai firefighters, on- and off-road ranger’s operation, as well as health and education programs.
At the time the MWCT didn’t note anything about converting the R1Ts into right-hand drive safari vehicles, but it’s now clear the pilot program evolved to include this.
It’s unclear if the modifications made to this particular Rivian R1T shown in the photos were made by Rivian itself in the US, or by a third party elsewhere.
It’s also unclear which particular specification the R1T safari vehicle is. If it’s the flagship quad-motor AWD variant it has 623kW of power, 1231Nm of torque, can do the 0-60mph (0-96 km/h) sprint in 3.0 seconds, with an estimated EPA driving range of 529km.
In addition to these four Rivian R1Ts the MWCT now has, it previously said the R1S electric SUV will be added to its fleet “in the coming months”. The conservation trust currently also has two EV-converted Land Rover Defender safari vehicles.
The reason why this Rivian R1T electric safari vehicle is so interesting is because the US-based EV startup currently only produces vehicles in left-hand drive for North American markets.
The fact there is now at least one right-hand drive version of the R1T floating around points toward Rivian gearing up to launch in markets outside North America.
The company has previously said it intends to begin working on expanding its presence into right-hand drive markets after US and Canadian deliveries begin.
A Rivian spokesperson told CarExpert earlier in the year there’s currently no news on an Australian launch of the brand though.
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