LOADSPACE - Rivian's new electric pickup truck, dogs in vans, and more...

The latest van news, views and opinions...On this month's episode of Loadspace (powered by the van experts at Vanarama), we look at the brand-new electric pickup from Rivian, the launch of the biggest trial of electric vans in the UK, run through the top 10 best selling commercial vehiclesand show you the proof that dogs really are a van driver's best friend.

So, check out the video below, or read on for more information

Rivian's brand-new R1T electric pickup truck

First up, American firm Rivian has launched its double cab R1T electric Pickup. The highly-anticipated truck features a range of up to 400+ miles, a wading depth of 1 meter, and the performance and precise control of quad-motor AWD.

It's been developed to help customers get out and explore the world and should be available from late 2020 with a UK right-hand drive version coming a year later. The price tag is said to start at around £55,000 (which is why leasing one will make the most sense) and manufacturing will take place at an old Mitsubishi plant in Illinois.

With its sci-fi styling it should really doesn't look like any other pickup we've ever seen. Definitely one to watch.

All-electric, UK-wide commercial vehicle trial begins

Next, the biggest trial of electric commercial vehicles in the world has been approved by UK energy regulator Ofgem.

The three-year Optimise Prime project (did you see what they did there?) is going to bring together leading power, technology, fleet and transport companies to test the best approaches to the roll-out of electric vehicles (EVs).

It will see 3,000 electric vehicles from Centrica, Uber and "a large UK-depot-based parcel carrier" (wonder who that could be) take to the road. It's all happening so we get an end-to-end overview of what the switch to EVs will mean for the cables and substations that deliver electricity to the community.

The project will launch in early 2019, with the first vehicles hitting the road during the second half of 2019.

We'll keep you updated as we find out more, but we can't wait to hear the results. Although our guess is that the test will find the UK's charging infrastructure unready...especially in the out-of-town locations.

The top 10 best-selling vans and pickups of the month

10. Renault Trafic. It's still in the top 10 thanks to its excellent load space and brilliant engines.

9. Peugeot Partner. There's a new model on the horizon next year but that's not stopped nearly 900 of the current model finding homes this month.

8. Citroen Berlingo. The new version has just hit the UK, is already making strides in the market, and you'll find a link to our exclusive review in the description below.

7. Ford Ranger. Rough, tough and affordable nearly 1200 more of them have hit the roads!

6. Ford Transit Connect. Lauded for its fuel efficiency and spacious cab, the Connect continues to sell and find new fans across the country.

5. Vauxhall Vivaro. We've always thought it was good-looking and super-efficient...and who doesn't love a 4-year warranty?

4. VW Transporter. There are plenty of models to choose from and each one packs the same practical cabin and it even comes in a petrol version, which is a bit of a rarity in the LCV world.

3. Ford Transit. It loses out on the number 2 spot AGAIN despite being one of the biggest and best vans out there to drive.

2. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Shifting even more this month than the previous one, the end-of-year sales of this massive van are going to give it a big boost going into next year.

1. Ford Transit Custom. The gap in sales between the 1 and 2 spots is far smaller than last month but that's like saying the Grand Canyon looks smaller from space...it's true, but try standing next to it.

A dog IS a van driver's best friend

And finally, more than 200,000 van drivers in the UK have a dog with them on any given day according to a study put together by Mercedes-Benz Vans.

One in five van drivers agree that their dogs have a positive impact on their mental health with over half (52%) saying they bring their dog along simply because it makes them feel happier.

A third (33%) say their dog simply helps them get through their day, but over half (53%) said that having their dogs with them has assisted them in winning new business.

Steve Bridge, Managing Director at Mercedes-Benz Vans, said he thought it was great that van drivers were taking their dogs around with them, but wants to remind you all that dogs need to be suitably restrained, so look at buying a good seat belt harness as an investment to ensure that both you and your dog are safe and secure.

Steve added that he wished he could take his Westie called Gilbert to work with him...but it's a dog's life, eh?

You can check out the full video on our YouTube channel, AND don't forget to like and subscribe for more videos, reviews and brand-new episodes of Loadspace.

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