Michael SimariCar and driver

Car and driver conducted a test a 2022 Rivian R1T Launch the June edition following over-the-air (OTA) updates that increased the claimed peak charge rate. We have seen 199 kilowatts at most.

• Our average charging speed during the 10 to 90 percent charge test improved by about 7 percent, from 98 kilowatts to 105 kilowatts, right after Ford F-150 Lightningwhich averaged 106 kilowatts.

• Over-the-air updates open the door for Rivian to claim the ability to handle more than 300 kilowatts in the future, putting it in line with current industry leaders.

You are welcome Car and driver‘s Testing centerwhere we increase the test numbers. Since 1956, we’ve been pushing vehicles to their limits to provide objective data to back up our subjective impressions (you see how we test here). A more complete review of the Rivian R1T 2022 can be found here here.

To simulate real-world charging, our testing team runs a quick charge test from 10 to 90 percent charge on the fastest hardware the car can handle. This allows us to record in the fastest charging zones (typically 10 or 15 to 80 percent) and beyond to see how the charging rate decreases as the battery fills up. Peak charge rates sound impressive and are an easy sell, but when a battery is only able to take power at peak rates for a short period of time, the average charge rate becomes a much more important metric.

When we initially tested the charging capabilities of the early-build 2022 R1T Launch Edition in November 2021, it managed to reach a peak of 185 kilowatts. The peak reached about 25 percent charge and lasted for about one minute before quickly receding.

Our updated test this summer came after an OTA update from Rivian that added support for 500 amp charging. After the upgrade, charging started at 10 percent, reaching 191 kilowatts, an 81 kilowatt increase from before, and continued to a peak of 199 kW at 27 percent state of charge. This time, the Rivian held its peak charge rate for two minutes, only to be faced with an equally drastic decrease in charge rate.

Comparing the updated test numbers to the F-150 Lightning is a good example of the average charge rate giving a better picture of the charge rate than the peak numbers. While the R1T reaches a peak of nearly 200 kilowatts, the Lightning only manages 163. Despite the lower peak, the Ford, with a slightly more energy-packed battery, completed our test three minutes faster than the Rivian (61 minutes vs. 64) and also ahead of him on average by one kilowatt.

Rivian has announced that further OTA updates will lead to peak charge rates in excess of 300 kilowatts. This would put it in competition with some industry leaders. The Lucid, for example, achieved the highest peak charge rate of any EV we tested at 297kW, allowing the Lucid Air Grand Touring to add 100 miles of real-world highway range in just eight minutes. Our newlywed EV of 2022, Hyundai Ioniq 5, managed to go from 10–80 percent charge in just 18 minutes thanks to its 800-volt architecture. As for Rivian, it plans to build its own line of DC fast chargers (3,500 of them) at 600 locations across the US and Canada.

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