Upstart electric truckmaker Rivian has confirmed that it will make an accessory camping kitchen available as an option on its R1T pickup.
The confirmation is a bit surprising. When trying to drum up interest for a new car at auto shows and other events, automakers dress them up with all kinds of accessories—many of which never make it to production or official "factory option" availability. So automotive journalists, analysts, and vehicle enthusiasts learn to ignore the baubles.
That certainly seemed to be the case with the slide-out kitchen that Rivian built into the "gear tunnel" of its R1T pickup concept when it brought the truck to the Overland Expo outside Flagstaff, Arizona, last month. The company is going to great lengths to highlight the R1T's gear tunnel—a passage across the width of the truck underneath the front of the bed, with doors on each side that fold down flat to serve as steps up to the bed.
In an interview with Green Car Reports last November at the LA auto show when it launched the car, Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said once the company sketched out the truck with the gear tunnel, designers fixated on keeping the feature into production. (This, despite the fact that the R1T has additional locking covered storage up front in the "frunk."
Yes! It will be available at launch.— Rivian (@Rivian) May 20, 2019
Yet that's what the company announced it will do in a tweet later, in response to a question from a fan. Christopher Lazarz asked, "Will this actually be an accessory available?"
Responding from the corporate Twitter account, the company said, "Yes! It will be available at launch."
The mobile kitchen is likely to include a two-grill induction cooktop that runs off the truck's main drive battery, as well as storage cupboards.
The R1T is due to go on sale late in 2020 as a 2021 model and be followed a year later by Rivian's three-row R1S SUV. The R1T is expected to have 400 miles of range in top trim levels, and potentially an accessory battery that could deliver more miles and sits in the pickup bed.
Even without the extendable kitchen, the gear tunnel could be a great place to carry golf clubs, tools, or other longish sporting equipment that drivers want to keep secure.