The Rivian R1T is a great all-around truck, with MotorTrend naming it Truck Of The Year 2022, but it’s not without its faults.
The YouTube Channel TFLEV got an email from a viewer that said his Rivian R1T had a pretty serious battery drain problem, resulting in an energy consumption that’s the equivalent of 25 MPG (9.4 l/100 km), the same as a hybrid 2021 Ford F-150 Pickup 2WD.
The R1T owner, Jordan Shively, says the problem, which is known in the Rivian community as the vampire drain, affects him probably more than others, as he’s working from home and only drives his electric truck about five miles per day.
His EV has the 135 kWh battery pack and he tries to keep the state of charge (SoC) between 85 and 25 percent, but after ten days of driving the car just 60.4 miles, the car told him he only had a quarter of juice left in the battery.
He goes on to say that this is a regular occurrence, with him only able to drive between 60-65 miles before hitting the 25% SoC level. Adding to that, Jordan says the car’s trip meter only displays energy consumption data while the truck is turned on and not the total energy usage.
As per the screenshots, the Rivian R1T in question had traveled 60.4 miles averaging 11 mph, with an efficiency of 1.81 mi/kWh and a total energy consumption of 36.3 kWh. But in reality, the truck consumed approximately 80 kWh of energy, considering the battery’s total rated capacity.
Gallery: 2022 Rivian R1T: First Drive Review
In other words, there's a massive difference between the real-world energy consumption and what the display in the car is showing – more than 40 kWh of energy, in fact.
The car’s owner got in touch with Rivian, which ran a remote diagnostics scan on the vehicle, with no errors showing. But what’s interesting is that the company rep said that standby losses in the battery’s SoC between 3-12% over 24 hours are normal, depending on the weather.
This isn’t the first time a Rivian owner experienced the so-called vampire drain, with our friend Kyle Conner making a video about the issue and theorizing that the EV’s battery management system is trying to keep the temperature as close to normal as possible. Another YouTube channel, EV Buyers Guide, did an experiment where an R1T was parked next to a Ford F-150 Lightning for two weeks, and after that, the Rivian had lost 27% of its battery capacity, while the Ford reported 0% losses, although the expected range had gone down by 4 miles.
Rivian issued a software update that reportedly stops some of the battery drain while on standby and recommends that owners activate the Vehicle Shipping mode on their vehicles if they know they won’t use the car for a long time. But even so, the SoC goes down by about 2-3% per day.
That’s like having an internal combustion engine car that loses gas or diesel while being parked, which is not exactly great, especially if you go on a plane trip and discover that you need to recharge your car because it lost energy while standing still.
Watch the video embedded at the top of the article and let us know what thing in the comments section below.