Toyota has pledged to introduce 15 new EVs by 2025
One of those models could be a pickup since the lineup of electric concepts shown by the brand featured one
The R1T is smaller than the other electric pickups on the market so it is closer in size to the Toyota concept
Two Rivian R1T pickups have been spotted in and around the Toyota Technical center in Michigan wearing manufacturer plates.
This most likely means that the Japanese manufacturer chose the R1T to benchmark against an upcoming electric pickup that could be part of the 15 new EVs before 2025 announced by Toyota.
Benchmarking new products against the competition is a common practice in the automotive industry and another recent example was the reports that General Motors was testing a Tesla Model S Plaid to establish the performance goals for the upcoming Cadillac Celestiq.
In Toyota’s case, this makes sense since the automaker has already teased an electric pickup among a large number of other EV concepts that were unveiled late last year.
The choice of the Rivian pickup instead of the GMC Hummer EV or the Ford F-150 Lightning might be explained by the fact that the R1T is much smaller than both of those other options and the Toyota concept also appeared quite small.
This means that an eventual electric Toyota pickup could be positioned either as a replacement or a counterpart to the gasoline-powered Tacoma, which will be entirely reworked for 2024.
As part of the tests being conducted, Toyota will most likely evaluate the performance and efficiency of the Rivian’s quad-motor powertrain, which means that a similar system could potentially be offered on the Japanese truck.
The prospect of an upcoming electric pickup is good news for Toyota since the company seemed fairly reluctant to move towards EVs, which is exemplified by the fact that it has just launched its first electric model this year while most of its competitors are further along in the process of electrifying their lineups.