Rivian R1T spotted with test plates near Hyundai facility

September 6, 2023

Is an electric truck from Hyundai on the way? A Rivian R1T was spotted with testing plates near Hyundai’s Namyang research and design (R&D) facility in South Korea.

Hyundai benchmarking Rivian R1T electric truck?

In June, the Hyundai Motor Group released its next-generation EV platform (IMA), designed to host 13 new electric models from the Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis brands.

The IMA platform is a “significant advancement” over the automaker’s current E-GMP platform. The new platform will extend beyond midsize SUVs or crossovers (like the IONIQ 5 and KIA EV6).

Hyundai’s CEO, Jaehoon Chang, confirmed:

It encompasses nearly all vehicle classes, ranging from small and large SUVs to pickup trucks, along with the flagship models of the Genesis brand.

The automaker hasn’t offered any additional details on the potential electric pickup. However, a Rivian R1T was spotted with testing plates by Hyundai’s R&D facility this week by Shortscar (via The Korean Car Blog), raising speculation that the automaker is working on its own electric truck.

Meanwhile, Kia has already announced plans to introduce two EV pickups to its portfolio. During investor day 2022, the automaker said it was planning to build a complete lineup of 14 EVs by 2027.

The lineup includes two electric trucks, one dedicated EV pickup, and another “strategic model” for emerging markets.

This isn’t the first time Rivian’s electric truck has been spotted in South Korea. In 2021, Electrek covered an R1T model driving on public roads in Suwon, speculating the EV maker would use Samsung rather than LG as a battery supplier.

Electrek’s Take

It is a common practice for automakers to purchase other brands’ vehicles to reverse engineer them to grasp how they work.

Kia has already confirmed it will introduce a dedicated electric truck, while there’s been heavy speculation Hyundai will release one under its own brand.

If Hyundai does decide to release an electric pickup, it will face a growing list of competitors with the Rivian R1T, Ford’s F-150 Lightning, Chevy Silverado EV, and the upcoming Scout electric pickup, among others.

Hyundai will have to differentiate itself with a unique electric model, something it has done well with so far in the electric era with models including the IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6.

What do you think? Would you buy an electric truck from Hyundai? And if so, what features could be adopted (or added) from the Rivian R1T? Let us know in the comments.

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Rivian R1T spotted with test plates near Hyundai facility