Design Interview: Rivian’s Jeff Hammoud

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Rivian’s head of design Jeff Hammoud talks about the electric R1T pickup truck and how his team helped to make it a reality

Rivian is celebrating this month with the first customer deliveries of its R1T, an all-electric pickup truck from the American-based company first founded in 2009 as Mainstream Motors. Since 2017, the Rivian studio has been led by Jeff Hammoud, a former FCA designer whose credits included redesigns of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 200. Hammoud and his team showed their first prototypes at the LA Auto Show in 2018, the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV. Soon after, Rivian gained a following of eager fans and significant investments by Amazon (to the tune of $700 million) and later by Ford, which invested $500 million. In addition to its BEV drivetrain, the R1T sets itself apart with a pass-through storage area dubbed the “gear tunnel,” that sits between the cabin and the truck bed. During a first drive of the R1T in the Rocky Mountains near Breckenridge, Colorado, Hammoud gave us some insight into the R1T and how his team works together.

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