Rebecca Donaghe, left, and Emme Hall ahead of the off-road challenge. Photo: Rivian

Electric truck startup Rivian must have a lot of confidence in its product to enter the very first vehicle to roll off the assembly line into a grueling, 10-day off-road challenge.

The state of play: Rivian's R1T pickup is also the first fully electric vehicle to compete in the Rebelle Rally, an all-female, off-road rally that kicked off Thursday.

  • Competitors may use only a compass and a map — no smartphone or other GPS device — to navigate the 1,200-mile, secret route through the desert of California and Nevada.
  • Points are awarded for navigational accuracy, not fastest time.
  • Off-road enthusiast Emme Hall, an editor at CNET's Roadshow website, and teammate Rebecca Donaghe will pilot the Rivian.

The intrigue: If running an electric truck with 400 miles of driving range across 1,200 miles of desert sounds a bit problematic, consider this:

  • The Rebelle Rally partnered with Utah-based Power Innovations to provide 175-kilowatt fast-charging stations along the rally route, and to power the Rebelle base camp, reports Roadshow.

Dispatch from Day One, via a Rivian spokeswoman:

  • "First factory-built vehicle, though still a validation prototype. A little risky but fun too."

Go deeper: You can track the Rebelle Rally here.

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Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 9, 2020 - Energy & Environment

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