Last November, a couple took their new $80,000 Rivian R1T on a cross-country road trip while towing a Mustang. The all-electric pickup truck took them from Detroit to Los Angeles and back. They towed about 6,500 pounds, standard weight while towing.
The return journey was documented on their Instagram account. The expedition amounted to almost 2,700 miles and 27 charging stops. Each charge took about an hour after they spent more than an hour at times hunting for decent charging stations. The couple spent a lot of time at Walmart. They basically stopped every hour-and-a-half to charge for an hour.
They saw a lot of Walmarts, your best shot for charging!
According to Car and Driver specs, the R1T has 314 miles of range — not bad. However, this is when the truck is not towing anything. Trucks are often used for towing.
The couple pulled their Ford Mustang Shelby GT on a flat-deck car-hauler trailer. The total weight — including the Rivian, the couple, their luggage and the loaded trailer — came out to 14,260 lbs. The approximate weight of the loaded trailer was a bit over 6,000 lbs — a standard load to tow.
On the first leg of the trip, the couple logged nearly 2,000 miles from Los Angeles to Sikeston, Missouri, with 20 stops to charge the Rivian — for an average of 100 miles between charging stops.
On the second leg, they traveled 695 miles and stopped seven times to charge up, again averaging 100 miles between charging stops.
The couple spent an estimated 10 to 20 hours charging their Rivian during the cross-country trip. Some pitstops were better than others. Fast chargers are able to charge at 150 kW or even 350 kW, but the couple noted “one charger with a low output of just 30 kW,” according to The Fast Lane Truck. Not only this, but the couple had to either take up the entire charging station area sideways, park with the trailer hanging far out, or even unhitch and leave the trailer until the truck was charged.
THE COUPLE DIDN’T MIND AT ALL
While that sounds absolutely awful to many of us who might say this hugely expensive vehicle is not ready for primetime, the couple didn’t feel that way. Their statement below.
“Welcome to all the followers that found us from an article on a conservative news site [The Western Journal]! A couple of things: Don’t believe everything you read, that article got more wrong than it got right. Yes we stopped a lot, but there’s more to it than the article implies and it wasn’t that bad. We did not buy the truck for towing, it’s correct EVs aren’t the best choice for that; but we had to make a move across country, this is how we chose to do it and we made it work..We LOVE the truck, for many reasons…We take it off-roading and it still does tow duty to get the racecar to events, on top of all that it excels as a daily driver. I’m not going to debate how good or bad EVs are for the planet, we didn’t buy it to save the planet, we have it because it’s just a fantastic truck that’s a blast to drive.”
[Personally, I wouldn’t want to travel around for an hour or two looking for a charging station to sit for an hour per charge. I don’t want to spend $80,000 on a vehicle. Also, the grid has to meet the need. It doesn’t yet. Nice truck though!]