Rivian R1T Fried, Stuck to Electrify America Charger for Days After ‘Loud Boom’ While Charging

The owner claims “a loud explosion” came from the truck’s power unit, turning the battery-powered pickup into an immovable object for days.

byCaleb Jacobs|
Rivian R1T Fried, Stuck to Electrify America Charger for Days After ‘Loud Boom’ While Charging
Anson Wong

A Rivian R1T owner's saga with an Electrify America charger has resulted in a bricked electric pickup and days of waiting. Anson Wong claims "a loud boom" came from his truck about a minute after plugging into the 150-kW charger near San Diego, and after that, the R1T was just stuck. It allegedly stayed there for nearly two full days before they could unplug it, though it's now in Rivian's possession for diagnostics with all sorts of error codes showing on its screens.

Wong told me he first plugged into the charger around 7 p.m. Saturday.

"We get out, look back, and hear a loud explosion from the power unit followed by, like, a cloud of black smoke," Wong said. "I run over to the charger with the screen and it turns red. It says 'charger unavailable' with two red exclamation marks."

Even after repeated attempts to unlock the vehicle's charge port, Wong had no luck. He said he called Electrify America first, who allegedly restarted the charger remotely to no avail. The company dispatched a technician about four hours after the initial phone call, according to Wong, but no real progress was made before they decided to leave the vehicle and revisit during the day.

"After [trying to unplug it], he wanted to use a power drill to bust it and get my car out of there but I refused," Wong says.

Rivian gifted Wong rideshare credits so he could make it to his house about two hours away. He claims Electrify America "never brought up anything about getting me home," although he believes the issue is on EA's end rather than Rivian's.

Flash forward to Monday night and the charge plug was finally removed from the R1T. Wong says Rivian is now inspecting his truck and will update him when more info is available. The Drive reached out to Rivian for comment but the automaker declined.

An Electrify America spokesperson told The Drive on Tuesday: "The vehicle has been disconnected from the charger and we are investigating the root cause."

There's no clear path forward right now as both Rivian and Electrify America look into the ordeal. What's certain is that Wong will be without his truck at least until Rivian can repair it, if that's even a possibility.

Wong is far from the first EV owner to report problems with public charging infrastructure. Another battery-powered truck owner claims an Electrify America station fried his Ford F-150 Lightning in November, meaning Wong's problem may not be unprecedented.

Updated at 3:25 p.m. ET on 01/31/2023: Wong claims Rivian is replacing his R1T's battery pack and charge port at no expense to him. The automaker is allegedly talking with Electrify America as well, though Wong says he's only received communication from Rivian.

A timeline for the fix wasn't provided but Rivian gave Wong several transportation options while his truck is in the shop. He opted to accept additional rideshare credits while Rivian searches its loaner fleet for a temporary replacement.

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