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The Rivian R1T has quickly gained a reputation for being a fun and functional electric pickup, launching Rivian as a company to remember in the growing electric vehicle market. However, Rivian has also recently demonstrated some of the growing pains of EVs, as one R1T was recently fried after connecting to a charger. 

A Rivian R1T all-electric pickup truck outside of a vehicle plant in Normal, Illinois
A Rivian R1T all-electric pickup truck | Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

America’s push for electric vehicles

In a relatively short period, EVs have gone from being novelties that the average driver rarely saw on the street to a common sight. Sales of EVs have been trending in the right direction for years now.

Drivers choose to switch from gas to electric for a variety of reasons. Some choose an EV to reduce their carbon emissions, and others want to avoid record-high gas prices. Meanwhile, incentives like federal tax credits for EVs make it more affordable to own an electric vehicle.

Some potential EV owners are simply choosing to make the switch because there are some great electric vehicle options on the market. Tesla is a household name, and the Model S Plaid has become a dream car for many. Rivian is a new name in the electric vehicle market, and its R1T pickup is another promising EV.

Rivian R1T fried at a charging station

One of the most recent headlines surrounding the Rivian R1T has not been a positive story about the EV revolution, though. The driver plugged his R1T into an Electrify America charger only for the truck to quickly become fried.

Wong claims that after the truck has been plugged in for a minute, there was the sound of an explosion and a cloud of smoke around his R1T. 

Wong received error messages about the incident, and he contacted Rivian and Electrify America. According to Wong, Electrify America attempted to virtually restart the charger and then, four hours later, sent a technician to the site.

The truck stayed plugged into the charger for nearly two days, and CarScoops states that the R1T’s charge port and the Electrify America charging cable were welded together. Eventually, Rivian took the vehicle for inspection and repairs.

The good news for Wong is that Rivian responded well to the issue. The company is replacing his truck’s charge port and battery pack, and he stated that Rivian has also provided rideshare credits in the meantime. Wong will not have to pay for these repairs.

While the news that a Rivian truck experienced a problem like this might be concerning, this particular incident seems to be more of a problem with Electrify America.

The CarScoops article notes that a Ford F-150 Lightning and a Chevy Bolt have also encountered problems with Electrify America chargers. Because the three incidents involved three different EV models, the issue may be with the chargers themselves.

Some drivers are not eager to change to an EV

Regardless of whether the Rivian R1T was fried because of a problem with the truck or the charger, this does highlight how the transition to EVs is not always smooth. Some drivers are hesitant about switching away from gas-powered cars. Exploding EV chargers might be uncommon, but other issues also lead to this hesitation. 

The act of having to charge an EV can be a major downside for some drivers. Getting gas takes almost no time, so the idea of having to wait while one’s EV charges may be seen as a problem, especially for drivers who frequently take longer road trips. On the other hand, though, EVs are getting better at going longer distances on a single charge. 


The 2023 Rivian R1T Had a Rough Start