The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Rivian R1T its highest rating. The electric pickup earned the institute’s Top Safety Pick+ designation for the 2022 and 2023 model years, which is not easy.

New models must meet stringent parameters to earn the top grade, which goes beyond protecting passengers. The Rivian R1T earned “Good” ratings in all six of the institute’s crashworthiness tests, including the challenging front small overlap test. IIHS also tests the front and side crashworthiness, along with roof strength and head restraints.

The Top Safety Pick+ award also requires models to be available with a front crash prevention system. IIHS tests their effectiveness in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. The Rivian earned “Superior” ratings for both. The final piece to the award is the headlights. They not only have to earn a “Good” or “Acceptable” rating, but they also have to be the standard equipment across all trim. Rivian earned a “Good” rating.

The Rivian R1T was the first electric pickup truck to make it to market, beating the venerable F-150 Lightning. The segment is getting crowded. GMC offers the Hummer EV, and Chevrolet will begin Silverado EV production next spring.

Powering the Rivian is a quad-motor setup. The 135.0-kilowatt-hour battery gives the pickup up to 328 miles of range after pushing out a free update to vehicles this month. It did offer up to 314 miles. It offers plenty of power, too, delivering 838 horsepower (614 kilowatts) and 908 pound-feet (1,231 Newton-meters) of torque. The electric powertrain can send the truck to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. The truck can also tow up to 11,000 pounds with a 1,760-lb maximum payload rating.

Rivian is now producing the R1S SUV, and we’d be surprised if it didn’t also earn IIHS’s Top Safety Pick+ when it undergoes evaluation. The company is already planning its second-generation products, but it had to push the platform’s launch back a year to 2026. Demand for the R1T and R1S is strong, with the automaker having 114,000 preorders as of November 7.

Gallery: Rivian R1T

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