Electrify America has had their share of issues lately, from unreliable chargers that are frequently out of service to chargers that are just weeks old being ripped out and removed with no explanation from the company. Now it appears as though another, perhaps more serious issue can be added to the list, and it is one which is leaving electric vehicle (EV) owners with serious damage to their cars.
Over the weekend Rivian R1T owner Anson (@snkrticians) plugged in at an Electrify America station in southern California. About one minute later there is a “loud boom” from the charging station, after which his R1T is left undriveable with two error messages on his display indicating a “vehicle battery issue” and a “system fault.” After the explosion the R1T owner said a burning smell emanated from the station’s power unit. While no flames were visible there were “burn marks” on the outside of the cabinet.
Along with frying his R1T, the charging cable was also stuck in the charge port and could not be removed, even when using the manual release cable in the frunk of the electric truck. Anson was able to get in touch with Electrify America, but their technician took 7 hours to arrive and was unable to diagnose the problem and remove the charging cable. The technician was so befuddled that he even suggested sawing it off.
hey @ElectrifyAm i just plugged in my @Rivian r1t and 1 minute later i hear a loud boom and now i have a bunch of error codes and i can’t even unplug my car…. took you guys 7 hours to get a guy out and that even wasn’t help. what’s the deal???? now my car is fried too… 🔥 pic.twitter.com/6I7RsmZG0S
— Anson (@snkrticians) January 29, 2023
In a discussion with Drive Tesla, Anson said that both Rivian and Electrify America have been unable to diagnose the issue remotely, although Rivian is currently pointing the finger at Electrify America. We should get more answers soon as Anson tells us both companies will be visiting the site and his truck on Monday to investigate the issue further.
As we noted at the top of this article this isn’t the first time this has happened. Late last year a Ford F-150 Lightning owner suffered a similar fate after plugging in at an Electrify America station. The description of events is eerily similar – the owner reported plugging his electric truck in, and then a minute later hearing a loud boom before his Lightning displayed a number of error messages and had to be towed away.
— Eric Roe (@Eric_L_Roe) November 27, 2022
Electrify America certainly has some damage control to perform, even before this latest issue of a Rivian R1T being fried at one of their charging stations. Their reputation is quickly going in the wrong direction, and they have so far been silent on all of the issues EV owners have been experiencing over the last few months. If it continues this way without an explanation, the damage to their reputation may be too much to repair.