If you’re not familiar with vampire drain, it’s when an electric car uses some of its energy while parked and not in use. An EV doesn’t need to be “running” to use energy, and this can be a problem for people who have issues with range anxiety.
Essentially, every vehicle uses some energy while it’s parked. However, this is more of a concern for EV owners since they’re often very aware of the car’s range, and they don’t necessarily expect that range to disappear while their car is parked. It would be comparable to leaving your gas car parked for a few days and coming back to a gas tank that suddenly had noticeably less fuel.
In the past, we’ve reported about EV owners parking their cars at the airport, going on a trip, and returning to find that they may not have enough range for the drive home. For this reason, it’s good to know how much energy your EV consumes in a given day or week while it’s not in use.
Car reviewer Alex Dykes of Alex on Autos found that the Rivian R1T uses much more energy while parked than other EVs he’s tested. However, that wasn’t the case with the Ford F-150 Lightning. He put together the short and informative video above for his newer YouTube channel, EV Buyers Guide.
Alex provides some more details about vampire drain and then shares information about his tests. He parked the F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T each for 10 days to learn just how much energy these electric pickup trucks consume while not in use and not plugged in. He charged them to 100 percent and he turned off the R1T camera-based security system to save power.
After the 10 days, which actually turned out to be 11 since Alex accidentally waited an extra day, the Rivian was down to 73 percent, which is a significant drop. We imagine that with the security system running, the truck would have consumed even more energy, and most people would probably want to have the system engaged if they were leaving their truck somewhere for a period of time.
Alex also notes that the R1T doesn’t seem to go into as deep of a sleep mode as other EVs, but it also has a very quick startup process and responsive infotainment system, so it’s hard to know for sure.
When Alex turns on the F-150 Lightning, it takes some time to boot up, and the infotainment system is sluggish. Again, he says this is partly due to the nature of the truck and the system itself. However, once the Lightning is ready to go, it shows a full 100 percent still, suggesting that there was no vampire drain. Alex says the range seems to have dropped slightly, though.
Once you’ve had a chance to watch the video, scroll down and leave us a comment. Which EV do you drive, and what has been your experience with vampire drain?