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This African wilderness conservatory devised an exciting new way to take visitors on safaris: 'The perfect vehicle'

MWCT isn't the first park switching to an electric approach to conservation.

Rivian Adventure Vehicles used in conservation work

Photo Credit: Maasai Wilderness

Many of us want to get a little closer to nature. A wilderness trust in Kenya is making that easier with a new pilot project that will use all-electric trucks to further protect the country's conservation areas — including using the vehicles to conduct educational safaris.

The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) recently announced a pilot program that will utilize four R1T electric "adventure vehicles" to carry out its conservation work. The project is in partnership with Rivian, the buzzy electric vehicle (EV) company that produces electric trucks, vans, and sports utility vehicles.

"We're hugely excited by this collaboration with Rivian given their intense focus on addressing our planet's climate crisis and preserving critical biodiversity," Luca Belpietro, founder and executive director of the MWCT, said in a statement. 

The R1T is an impressive vehicle in both capability and environmental impact. The electric truck is capable of driving through three feet of water, rock crawling at a 100% grade, traversing numerous terrains with 14.9 inches of ground clearance, and towing up to 11,000 lbs. The vehicle can also travel nearly 300 miles on one charge, making it ideal for traveling large tracts of extensive land.

The MWCT protects more than 37,000 acres of land across East Africa. The vehicles will assist in anti-poaching patrols, transportation for firefighters and on- and off-road rangers, along with health programs and education projects like safaris. 

"Rivian's support of MWCT is already playing a significant role here in Kenya, helping us to carry out our work in conservation, education, health, and livelihoods initiatives," Belpietro added. "The R1T is the perfect vehicle for us … We are proud to have Rivian as a partner to help us achieve meaningful sustainability and provide community services with minimal impact on the planet."

MWCT isn't the first park switching to an electric approach to conservation. Rangers in Africa's Kruger National Park have made the switch to ultra-quiet electric bikes to combat poachers on the land. And these are just a few examples of the EV revolution happening in Africa.

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