Rivian owners have taken to forums to discuss whether or not the battery drain while their vehicles are sitting idle is normal. Some seem to be reporting what seems to be fairly reasonable range loss while their vehicles are parked, while others are reporting numbers that seem too high, pointing to either a problem with the truck itself or something that they are doing wrong.
After reading countless posts about this on forums and Reddit, this does appear to be a problem for a few Rivian owners. One R1T owner from Phoenix, Arizona, who goes by the name “shrink” on the RivianForums, wrote to us revealing he left his truck plugged in and parked for an entire week in which time it drew 32 kWh, which works out to around 4.6 kWh every day (equivalent to around 8 miles per day).
The vehicle had a 70 percent charging limit set, it was hooked up to a 240-volt 48-amp home charger, it had Gear Guard turned off, but it stayed connected to the WiFi network. He called Rivian to make sure this level of drain was not normal and they confirmed that it wasn’t, and the manufacturer proceeded to schedule a service visit to make sure there was nothing wrong with the truck.
This excessive drain (also known as “vampire drain”) has been reported by Rivian owners for months. Owner “OverZealous” posted on Sunday in the RivianForums stating that that he belives it could be the most recent update that increased drain – he says his daily drain went up from 1.8 percent to almost 4 percent with the latest update, and there are others who say they observed a correlation between them.
Another owner says a Rivian technician told him that 1 percent drain every 12 hours was acceptable, and he also recommended that the vehicle be plugged in if it’s going to sit unused for a while. However, some owners say they observed the drain was increased when the vehicle was plugged in and that it was just automatically lower in the same vehicle when it just sat unplugged.
Some seem to be speculating that the extra drain some are noticing could have something to do with accessing the Rivian app, for instance to check the state of charge while you’re away. It could also be that the vehicle is reacting to the key fob being too close to it and it could be waking up (and draining more current) because of this.
The reader who wrote to us says that in order to eliminate this as a possibility, he put his key in a special signal-blocking box and he says it had no impact on the level of drain he observed. Another forum user suggested that turning off the climate control before leaving the vehicle to sit said it did reduce drain, although it shouldn’t really have an effect given that it shouldn’t be heating or cooling the cabin with nobody in it unless you tell it to through the app.
The most obvious explanation would be to blame this seemingly excessive drain on outside temperatures and the vehicle using extra juice just to not let the battery pack temperature drop below a certain threshold. However, the Rivian owners who wrote posts about this almost always mentioned the conditions and they say they observed it doesn't have as big an impact on the drain they observed.
Ever since Rivians started reaching customers, some complained early on about what they deemed unacceptably high drain, and so far the manufacturer seems to be looking into these situations on a case by case basis. Rivian has not said there is a problem with the vehicles or that it can do anything to get this fixed, but the manufacturers is certainly aware of it.