A couple months back, upstart electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian became the first EV maker to show up at the Overland West festival in Arizona, showing off not just its fascinating all-electric R1T pickup truck, but an array of never-before-seen features and accessories seemingly perfect for overlanders. Seeing as how many of the concepts and setups automakers bring to Overland West come from either the aftermarket add-on world or the realm of conceptual vaporware, it was easy to assume Rivian — which, in spite of its well-financed plans, is still a year away from producing a consumer vehicle — was simply spitballing, showing off hypothetical products to stir up excitement.
Yeah, turns out they were serious. In fact, the coolest overlanding feature shown off for the Rivian R1T pickup — the pull-out electric kitchenette — will very much be a production option when the truck goes on sale, according to the company.
Video: In-Person With the Rivian R1T Electric Pickup Truck
After a video showing a TechCrunch reporter at Overland West claiming Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe told her the retractable kitchen that slides in and out of the R1T’s cargo bay would make it to production, we reached out to the carmaker’s media relations team, who replied within minutes to inform us that the pull-out food prep option would be available “at [the] start of production.”
Rivian said the price for the option wasn’t yet available, but given the many features it crams into the roughly-tubular space between the cabin and bed called the “gear tunnel” — the TechCrunch video reveals it has a two-burner induction cooktop, an electric kettle, a removable sink with 5-gallon water supply and a full set of drawers containing pots, pans and utensils — we wouldn’t expect it to be cheap. (Especially given that the R1T will start at $61,500 even after the federal EV tax credit.)
And in case you’re worried about winding up marooned because you cook so much that you’ll the vehicle’s battery pack while camping, don’t sweat: Rivian says you can use the R1T to cook and light up your campsite for more than a week and only lose 20 kWh of range — about 11% of the biggest battery’s power. Electric car camping never sounded quite so good.
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