Many Rivian owners installed such solutions in their vehicles or used a wire to charge their phones from the USB ports in the center console. There are only two USB ports available, though, and one is usually occupied by the Gear Guard storage device. Thus, only one phone can be charged at any given time unless a powered USB hub is installed.
Some have tried their best to make their phones work with the original charging pad. Sometimes, they would start charging, but the current stopped flowing as soon as the phone moved. To make matters worse, the charging pad has a slippery surface, causing the phone to move a lot while driving. This makes charging a phone wirelessly in a Rivian EV almost impossible.
Some people even tried disassembling the charging pad to see why it was not working. Pictures shared online show that the Rivian inductive charging pad is a seriously overengineered device. It features a metallic base that looks like a military-grade portable computer. On top of it, there are 18 coils stacked on three layers.
This is why owners with smaller phones, with less protruding cameras and no case, reported some success. Those with big-camera phones or thick cases are usually out of luck, as this pushes the phone further from the charging surface. To make matters worse, the Rivian inductive charger has another layer between the coil layer and the charging pad. This is an NFC detection array that tells the computer what coils to turn on based on the phone's position.
It's intriguing how these issues escaped Rivian's quality control, as it's hard to believe that all the engineers had an iPhone 10 when they tested the charging pad. A quick look at the charging coils inside the inductive charger also shows that they are made of a thick copper wire, unlike Tesla's portable charging pad sold through Tesla Shop. This one has 30 coils on several layers, but they are made of significantly thinner copper wire, which might improve efficiency.