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Long Way Up documents McGregor and Boorman’s 13,000-mile journey from Patagonia, Argentina, through South America and the U.S.’ Southwest states to Los Angeles on motorcycles. The journey took around three months to complete, starting in September with the two arriving in Los Angeles on December 14, 2019.
For a long and taxing journey like the multi-continental ride through thirteen different countries was, McGregor and Boorman needed several crew members that would film the pairs’ trip. The support crew for the lengthy traveling process rode in two Rivian R1T trucks, McGregor said on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Not only did McGregor’s support team ride in a pair of all-electric pickups that were sustainable and environmentally-friendly, but he and Boorman also rode a couple of Harley Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycles.
“This time, we went on electric motorcycles because we wanted to be apart of that new wave of transportation, I suppose. It proved to be amazing, and quite tricky at the same time,” McGregor said to Fallon during an interview.
The tricky part of the journey was finding sufficient charging points throughout rural parts of South America. Still, McGregor indicates that his strategy consisted of knocking on doors to fulfill his bike’s need for more range.
“There is no real infrastructure for charging in Patagonia, for instance, so we just would knock on people’s doors and ask if we could plug them in,” he added.
However, this strategy was not easily viable for the series of Rivian R1T pickups that also made the extensive journey.
One Rivian team member who appeared in a company spot outlining the journey stated that their biggest challenge was charging as well. However, Rivian confronted the issue head-on by building its network of charging stations along the route that would take the team of crew members from the Southern tip of South America to Los Angeles. The Rivian team installed the series of charging areas throughout the route for drivers who may eventually want to travel along the same course in the future.
For Rivian, the journey offered the company an idea of how their new pickup truck would perform when confronted with the stress and demand of a long-distance trip. The journey consisted of off-road and tricky terrains that would test the durability of the R1T. However, the company has been preparing for the opportunity to prove that its truck can handle challenging road conditions.
Rivian has put the R1T through extensive off-road testing in the Arizona desert, assessing its performance in harsh, dry, and steep climates that are not ideal for many vehicles. The R1T is geared toward adventurous driving, and with three feet of wading depth and impressive performance specifications to follow, the truck was able to maneuver through the lengthy trip.
McGregor and Boorman’s journey from Southern Argentina to Los Angeles will appear on Apple TV Plus on September 18.
Rivian’s documentation of the journey is available below.