Rivian Owner Claims Electrify America Charger Fried Their Truck, and It's Happened Before

EV charging should be a seamless experience, but that is not always the case. A Rivian owner reported their truck malfunctioning after plugging into an Electrify America and hearing a loud bang from the charger. Their story is not unique, with at least two other instances when an EV bricked while charging in the EA network.
Rivian owner claims Electrify America charger fried their truck 6 photos
Photo: @snkrticians via Twitter
Rivian owner claims Electrify America charger fried their truckRivian owner claims Electrify America charger fried their truckRivian owner claims Electrify America charger fried their truckRivian owner claims Electrify America charger fried their truckRivian owner claims Electrify America charger fried their truck
Electric vehicles come with a very different ownership experience compared to combustion vehicles. They’re more like phones because you regularly need to plug them in to charge. This can be done using a proprietary charger, like the iPhones, or a generic one, like most Android phones. In the automotive world, we have Tesla and its proprietary Superchargers, as opposed to third-party charging networks other EVs use.

This analogy goes even further, considering that proprietary chargers are designed to play nicely with the designated phones/EVs. In the case of generic chargers and third-party networks, things can go awry sometimes. A Rivian R1T owner discovered this the hard way after trying to charge their truck at an Electrify America station. According to their tweet, one minute after plugging in the truck, they heard a “loud boom,” after which their truck showed “a bunch of error codes,” and they couldn’t even unplug the car.

Anson (@snkrticians ) said that the loud boom happened inside the charger cabinet, but besides the bad smell, there was no other sign on the cabinet itself. An Electrify America technician arrived at the scene seven hours later but couldn’t help much because they couldn’t open the charger cabinet to see what happened. After sharing their incident online, other EV owners reported similar experiences with different EVs, all at Electrify America chargers.

In November 2022, Eric Row shared a similar story about his Ford F-150 Lightning getting stuck at an EA fast charger. Eric, too, heard a loud sound, after which the charger went dark, and the Lightning displayed several error codes. The truck needed to be towed from the charger as it could not move on its own. His Ford F-150 Lightning has been sitting at the dealership ever since with a failed battery module without any timeframe for a fix. In the meantime, he has never heard anything from Electrify America about this issue.

Strange as it is, another EV driver who owns a Chevrolet Bolt confirmed the same thing happened to him in mid-January, while they charged the car at an Electrify America charger. In this case, eyewitnesses also reported “sparking and smoke” coming out of the charger. Neither Chevrolet nor EA explained what happened, and the Bolt EV is still awaiting inspection at the dealer.

Since several owners reported similar issues while charging in Electrify America network, we think it’s safe to assume the problem lies with the chargers rather than the vehicles. We’ve contacted Electrify America for a statement on this issue and will update the story if or when we get their reply.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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