New Documents Show The Rivian R1T Has A Few Flaws

Electric Vehicles / 14 Comments

It looks like cold weather is going to be the R1T's number one enemy.

Rivian recently submitted an application to the EPA, and the Rivian owner's forum quickly found three oddities in the documents.

The manufacturer has been riding a wave of good news lately, despite an ongoing battle with Tesla. It became the first mass manufacturer of an EV truck, and its IPO went spectacularly.

The EPA documents reveal some downsides to the R1T and R1S. According to these documents, neither has a heat pump, the maximum charging is set at 210 kW, and Conserve Mode is just five to ten percent more efficient than Sport mode.

2022 Rivian R1T Truck Front View Driving Rivian
2022 Rivian R1T Truck Driving Front Angle Rivian
2022 Rivian R1T Truck Side Perspective Driving Rivian

The efficiency difference between Conserve and Sport mode is not massive, but it can have an impact. With a 300-mile claimed range, using Sport mode will drop that figure to 270 miles. Still useful, but not exactly Ford F-150 Lightning territory.

The lack of a heat pump is more concerning. An EV battery only operates optimally in a narrow temperature range. That's why a car like the Tesla Model S has a heat pump for cold-weather states and why the Porsche Taycan has an entire thermal management system.

It's estimated that cold weather can drop the range of an EV by as much as 20%, which is why a heat pump is so important. This seems like an odd oversight from Rivian's side, given the impressive attention to detail we noticed during our first drive.

2022 Rivian R1T Truck Driver Area Rivian
2022 Rivian R1T Truck Armrest Rivian
2022 Rivian R1T Truck Table Rivian

Finally, there's the maximum charging capacity. Up until now, Rivian has only stated that DC will be more than 200 kW initially and more than 300 kW in the future.

According to the EPA, the maximum DC charging is 210 kW, which is still acceptable. At that rate, the driver can add 140 miles every 20 minutes. There is currently nothing to compare it to because nothing else exists in this segment.

While some Rivian owners might be disappointed by these revelations, we don't see anything to be too concerned about. These problems can be fixed quickly enough, with the heat pump being the most formidable challenge.

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