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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.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jul 2, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Why going electric makes sense for ride-hailing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Deploying electric vehicles instead of gasoline-powered models for services like Uber and Lyft provides outsized climate benefits compared to emissions cuts from electric vehicles for only personal use, per a peer-reviewed study in Nature Energy.

Why it matters: The analysis, based on California data, follows explosive growth in ride-hailing in recent years — and evidence that it's cannibalizing more climate-friendly mass transit.

Dave Lawler, author of World
15 mins ago - World

By the numbers: How countries are faring on COVID vaccinations

Expand chart
Note: This map represents the total number of vaccines administered, not people vaccinated; Data: Our World in Data; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

About 150 million vaccine doses were administered globally over the past week, the highest weekly total yet and a jump from 130 million last week.

Breaking it down: In the U.S., daily vaccinations peaked in mid-April and fell sharply as demand waned, though they've ticked up over the past few days (46% of the population has at least one dose).

Dave Lawler, author of World
28 mins ago - World

Modi humbled by India's coronavirus crisis

Still looming large, in New Delhi. Photo: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg via Getty

After mishandling the worst domestic crisis India has faced in decades, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approval ratings have plummeted … to 63%.

Breaking it down: While that’s down from 74% before India’s second wave struck, per Morning Consult’s tracker, it still makes him perhaps the most popular leader of any major democracy. But despite his enduring popularity, Modi no longer appears invulnerable.