Rivian R1T Owner Charges His Truck Using a Gas Generator, Claims It's a Hybrid Now

Everyone remembers the jokes about electric vehicles being charged using a portable generator. Well, jokes aside, the generator could prove useful in certain situations. One R1T owner shared his experience charging the truck from such a generator after encountering power outages in his area.
Rivian R1T owner charges his truck using a gas generator 6 photos
Photo: ElectrifiedOverlord via Rivian Forums
Rivian R1T owner charges his truck using a gas generatorRivian R1T owner charges his truck using a gas generatorRivian R1T owner charges his truck using a gas generatorRivian R1T pickup truckRivian R1T pickup truck
Although electric vehicles have finally entered the mainstream, people still debate the old ICE vs. EV conundrum. Since natural disasters have happened a lot more often in the past years, the debate is mostly centered on what an EV owner does when there’s no electricity in the area. Well, a power outage can indeed take days until fixed in some cases, and electric vehicles might run out of battery during this time. Especially when they are used to power the house, as some are advertised to be able to do.

Of course, gas stations are also inoperable in a power outage, save for the case they use generators as a backup solution. This is also true for homes, as anybody could avert a power outage using a portable generator. That’s why creative people wondered why not also charge an electric vehicle using a generator when there’s a power outage. Once the cat was out of the bag, the discussion moved from an emergency workaround to a full-time solution where the generator would become bolted to the truck’s bed to offer electricity and peace of mind to the range-anxiety-challenged people.

Well, if you are interested to know how it is to have your electric vehicle charged using a portable generator, read on. Eric, aka ElectrifiedOverlord on the Rivian Forums, has already tried that, and he is positively impressed with the result. He lives in New Hampshire and has experienced power outages lately, so he thought he needed a backup solution to power his house. And, sure thing, he found it in a super-quiet 9,500-watt portable generator. But then Eric started thinking about his Rivian and figured it could also be charged using the same generator.

To be able to do that, Eric found out he needed a power adapter to run the mobile charger from the generator. Since online stores are littered with such cheap devices, it wasn’t hard to find one. With his setup, he could provide 5.2 kW of power to the truck, which is not the fastest, but it should do in an emergency. Eric even thinks he can carry the generator in the truck’s bed on road trips, just to be on the safe side. Eric’s excuse is that it’s more likely to encounter a moose in his area than a source of electricity.

Eric’s generator has a 12-hour runtime on full load until the tank (around 6 gallons/23 liters) gets empty. According to his estimates, he would need 9 gallons (34 liters) of gas to run the generator for 18 hours. This should be enough to charge the battery from nearly empty to full over the 5.2-kW connection. That should give him more or less a 30-mpg fuel efficiency, which is more than an ICE truck offers. Eric’s story has people on Rivian Forums already scrambling to find a similarly powerful generator that would fit under the tonneau cover of the R1T.
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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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