A New Ford vs Rivian Test Proves the R1T Has a Phantom Drain Problem

Rivian R1T 6 photos
Photo: Ben Sullins on YouTube
Ford F-150 LightningFord F-150 LightningRivian R1TRivian R1TRivian R1T
The Ford F-150 Lightning is once again put next to the Rivian R1T. This time, a YouTuber wants to find out which all-electric pickup truck is draining its battery faster while doing nothing. The result could be considered worrying, especially as the world is in a race against the clock to preserve the environment. Wasting energy with EVs might not help this goal.
Even though they are pretty different, the F-150 Lightning and the R1T are commonly compared with each other. This is happening mostly because there aren’t any other good options out there right now. GMC’s Hummer EV Pickup, although very capable and impressive, is more of a lifestyle-oriented vehicle. Its price and size don’t make it very attractive for people that actually use their pickup trucks every single day. Chevrolet’s Silverado EV might tip the scales, but let’s wait for its arrival first.

The phantom drain comparison between the Ford and the Rivian begins with a full battery charge for both vehicles. Then, nothing happens. The two pickup trucks are left alone outside for 13 days.

The YouTuber disabled Rivian’s Gear Guard mode for this test. It’s similar to Tesla’s Sentry Mode. It makes use of its five cameras to record anything that might happen to the vehicle while the owner is away. The Ford doesn’t come with a comparable feature, so this decision made the test fairer.

When he got back to the pickup trucks, the man discovered that the R1T – which turned on instantly – lost 27% of its range just by sitting in the parking lot. On the other hand, the F-150 Lightning – which booted up slower than the Rivian – lost almost nothing. It displayed 100%. Just five miles (eight kilometers) were missing from the range count.

It’s worth mentioning that he checked both pickup trucks every three or four days via their dedicated apps without opening the cars or having the key around. Still, this could’ve kept the Rivian “on its toes” and not let it stop its computers entirely. That may also be the reason why the EV manufactured in Normal, Illinois, welcomed the driver like it never turned off completely.

Fortunately, it seems this could be solved in a future software update. Rivian already tried to address this issue with the 2022.27.02 change. That’s why the R1T went alone through another round of testing. It was charged back to 100% and left alone. But after three days of just staying in the parking lot, the 15% promised improvement was nowhere to be found – it lost 7% of its energy in 72 hours.

The YouTuber thinks this is happening because the R1T tries to maintain the proper temperature for the battery, which is a possibility. This might become a storage problem for owners, but it also preserves battery life in the process.

The phantom drain issue is not something usual. It happened to Tesla and other EV manufacturers like Volkswagen as well. The problem at hand, however, is that the R1T lost too much of its range in the span of almost a fortnight. That may raise a couple of questions relating to sustainability.

You can watch the full video down below and see how a Kia EV6 fared in comparison. It also stayed put for 13 days.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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