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Rivian’s Electric Pickups Went on a 13,000-Mile, Made-for-TV Road Trip With Ewan McGregor

The pickups were used as camera trucks for the third installment of "Long Way Up," and a trip spanning from Patagonia to Los Angeles.

Rivian knows that talk, as persuasive as it may be at times, is only worth so much. That’s why the EV startup decided to show off the might of its eagerly anticipated electric pickup, the R1T, by sending it on a 13,000-mile road trip.

Two of the automaker’s pickups were used as camera trucks for the upcoming third season of Ewan McGregor and Charles Boorman’s Long Way Up motorcycle adventure series, according to a YouTube video released over the weekend. While that may not sound like that much to ask of a truck, the vehicles had to follow as the show’s stars took a winding and at times punishing journey from the southernmost tip of South American all the way up to Los Angeles.

Having debuted in 2007, the Long Way is a travel adventure series that follows friends McGregor and Boorman as they take long, country-spanning trips on motorcycles. For the third installment of the show, the pair decided to tackle their journey atop two Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire motorcycles, making the choice of using the R1T as a camera truck only natural.

Of course, that didn’t make the trip easy. Filming started in the spring of 2019, but since Rivian won’t debut the pickup until the 2021 model year, a pair of fresh-off-the-line test vehicles had to be used, according to Car and Driver. The timeline was so tight that the last of the vehicles was completed just hours before it was shipped to Patagonia.

2021 Rivian R1T

2021 Rivian R1T  Rivian


But getting the prototypes down to South America was just the beginning. The startup also had to set up a charging network along the way, which involved installing 140 charging stations (with 240 Level 2 chargers) along the route, which stretched across 13 countries. This meant that there was a charging station roughly every 110 miles, though not all of them had to be used. Still, the trip gave Rivian a valuable chance to test out its EV trucks in real-world driving situations.

So how did the trucks fare? To find out you’ll have to watch the Long Way Up, which will premiere on Apple TV+ on September 18. And you’ll have to wait a bit longer for the truck, which doesn’t have a set release date yet, though the company is taking pre-orders now.

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