The Rivian R1T shows that mid-size electric mics are the next big thing
Automakers are scrambling to sell as many full-size pickups as possible before they feel the pressure. The CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standard increases to 39 mpg in 2026, making it difficult for half-ton trucks to hit those numbers. Maybe that’s why we’re seeing new electric trucks hitting the market before this change. Will any of these new electric pickups fall into the mid-size category to compete with the Rivian R1T?
Currently, the Rivian R1T is the only mid-size electric pickup truck
Yes, this newcomer to the market comes between the Ford Ranger and the Chevrolet Colorado in size. Considering that today’s midsize truck market is similar in size to the full-size models of the 1990s, we see that everything has gotten bigger in the automotive market.
Improved towing in small trucks
An EV platform is not limited like an internal combustion engine. Rivian offers an electric powertrain with more towing power than the Ford F-150 Lightning. To be exact, the Lighting can tow up to 10,000 pounds, while the RIvian R1T tows up to 11,000 pounds in a trailer. Could this lead to a move towards smaller trucks with better towing ratings than their larger siblings?
Which mid-size electric mics follow the Rivian R1T?
According AutoWeek, almost all midsize and small trucks will offer an EV variant in the new future. In fact, 2026 will bring electric versions of:
- Chevy Colorado
- Kia and Hyundai Pickup Trucks
- Ford Ranger
- Toyota Tacoma
The next electric trucks to arrive are the Chevrolet Silverado EV and the Ram 1500 EV, but next we should see the intermediate models arrive. It’s possible the Toyota Tundra will see an electric version before 2026, but that’s unconfirmed.
The challenge of towing with an electric van
Using a new Ford F-150 Lightning, Electrek tested this truck and its towing power. With a 23-foot Airstream trailer attached, this truck easily pulled the weight. The challenge was not in the towing capacity, but in the amount of range lost when towing. During this test, the truck lost about half of its range.
Why is this loss of autonomy important?
It’s no secret that when a truck tows a trailer, the efficiency of that vehicle decreases. The extra weight and increased wind resistance cause the vehicle to quickly lose fuel mileage. The problem for an electric truck is the charging time. With a gasoline or diesel truck, refueling takes less than 30 minutes, but an EV takes much longer, creating serious delays when traveling.
Will the Rivian R1T usher in the movement towards mid-size electric mics?
The movement towards these small electric trucks is already underway. The Rivian R1T just proves that you don’t need a full-size truck to get the power you want. The R1T offers similar range (314 miles) to the Ford F-150 Lightning (230-320 miles), and it tows more weight.
With CAFE 2026 requirements looming in the not-too-distant future, it’s important for automakers to offer EV versions of their trucks and SUVs. The midsize truck landscape is about to change, giving us electric versions of our favorite pickups.
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