Rivian has done some very brutal testing for the R1T and R1S ahead of their summer launch to confirm they’ll live up to their off-road claims. And while their involvement with the seven day, female-only Rebelle Rally was certainly a great story and noteworthy achievement, one of their tests stands above all others. In 2019, Rivian was asked to send two R1T electric pickup trucks as support and camera vehicles for an Apple TV Plus show, “The Long Way Up,” which involved a drive from the lowest tip of South America in Patagonia, Argentina up to Los Angeles, California. Quite the task for two prototype vehicles, regardless of what they’re powered by.
The Apple TV Plus show, which is available on the streaming service now, was not not focused on the Rivian R1T pickups, but rather a motorcycle journey carried out by two best friends,
General Kenobi Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. While you’ve probably heard of Sir Kenobi McGregor, Boorman is still a well known British television presenter across the pond. The pair have done other ultra long distance Motorcycle rides before, but decided to try it on electric bikes for “The Long Way Up,” selecting two Harley Davidson Live Wire motorcycles.
One could say McGregor was seeking the high ground.
The Rivian R1T support trucks were used as production and film videos, but Rivian used the opportunity to conduct more testing on their prototypes. The trip was 13,000 miles over a variety of road conditions and off-road trails, giving a huge variety of situations to draw data from. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to make sure the truck works for long journeys, despite the need to charge every 400 miles. This wasn’t too bad of an issue, however, as the bikes needed to charge closer to 100 mile intervals. You can see Rivian’s account of the journey in the video linked below:
Now, over a year after they completed the journey after embarking in 2019, the story has come full circle. It turns out the show’s producer, David Alexanian, was a huge fan of the electric R1T, so Rivian invited him to come and check out a pre-production model that has improvements the team implemented after their Patagonia to LA trip, and reunite with the team of engineers that came along for the ride. Unfortunately, Ewan McGregor isn’t there, but it’s still a fun video to end an incredible story, and shows how seriously Rivian is taking their R&D.