Our friend Branden Flasch takes his Rivian R1T electric pickup truck to four different public DC fast charging stations to document his discoveries. In each case, he begins the charging session at a low state of charge, which is representative of what owners are likely to do on a road trip, and charges up to 85 percent.
In the end, Branden admits that even he – who's very well-versed in EV ownership and public charging – was quite surprised by how the total charging times compared. Perhaps more importantly, the documentation of these charging adventures should stand to help educate new and potential electric car owners about how the different charging stations and speeds stack up.
You've probably heard electric car owners say that EV ownership is easy and that there's really nothing to learn, just simply plug in at home at night before you sleep and you'll have a full charge in the morning. This is true, to a degree.
Most EV owners do charge at home most of the time, and it really is as easy as plugging in and walking away. However, you need to have access to Level 2 charging at home, which will likely require a visit from an electrician and some upgrades, which could be pricey.
Most other facets of EV ownership are even easier, and really not much different from owning a gas car. There's not really a whole lot you need to know, and you should be able to just hop in and drive. Moreover, you won't have to deal with all the regular maintenance and fluid changes a gas car requires.
For this reason, one of the primary focuses of EV education should arguably be on public charging. Not only should all EV owners be apprised of the favored "etiquette" surrounding public charging, but also the different types of chargers (Level 2 and DC Fast), their speeds, what speed their specific EV can accept, and much more.
Fortunately, we have people like Branden Flasch who take the time to put together fantastic videos to help educate the public and increase EV adoption.
Flasch visits two different Electrify America DC fast charging stations. One is among the quickest on the market, at 350 kW (500A). The other delivers speeds of up to 175 kW. He also uses a 350kW (540A) EVgo charging point and a Circle K unit that delivers up to 180 kW.
If you're an EV newbie, you may be thinking, "What does all of this even mean, and why should I care?" To be clear, as long as there's an available charging connector that's compatible with your EV, and there should be in many cases, you can really plug in anywhere.
For all practical purposes, the station you choose should determine how quickly (or not so quickly) you can get back on the road. Moreover, if you choose a lightning-fast station that cranks out much more power than your EV can accept, some other EV owners may be very sad that they're stuck using a low-powered unit while you tie up the quickest option.
With all of that said, we highly encourage you to carve out some time to watch Branden's video, since the words on the page don't really do this justice. There's just something about the real-world charging experience captured on video that makes this all so much easier to comprehend.
For the seasoned EV owners who are honestly just here for the final stats, we can tell you that the reason Branden was so shocked was that in all four cases, the Rivian R1T charged from a low state of charge to 85 percent in nearly the same amount of time. The high AMP EVgo unit was done first, but only by a slim margin. The 350 kW Electrify America station finished up seconds later, closely followed by the two lower-powered charging points.
Once you've had a chance to watch the video, please leave us comments about your takeaways, as well as your personal experiences and advice. Let's work together to help educate the masses to make EV ownership even easier.
To learn more about the Rivian R1T's range, charging, and specs, check out our video below: