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VIDEO: Charging Rebelle Rally Rivian, Mitsubishi EVs with Power Innovations


Power Innovations brought electric power to the desert to light up base camp as well as charge the Rivian 1RT and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Kelb)

Spending seven straight days in the middle of a desert, traversing more than a thousand miles over rough terrain with an all-electric pickup truck seems like it could be a recipe for disaster, right? Not for Power Innovations, which thankfully, was there to provide a solution.

In this video, I interview Robert Mount, president and CEO, of Power Innovations, a Utah-based company providing “innovative solutions for the integration and management of power to ensure a safer and sustainable future.”

The company recently helped power the 2020 Rebelle Rally, a 2,000-km demanding event based on the elements of headings, hidden checkpoints, time and distance using maps, a compass and a roadbook. As part of this year’s event, Rebelle introduced a new EV class featuring a Rivian 1RT and a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

This brought up a host of challenges as far as charging these vehicles to finish the rally, since the base camp is nowhere near a charging station.

Power Innovations stepped up and brought DC Fast Charging to the rally as well as provided power for the entire base camp.

During our interview, we discuss the specific challenges of the rally and what the future of providing EV power to remote areas might look like — especially with many new EVs coming to market like the GMC Hummer EV.

We also discussed the future of remote EV charging stations that would have less of a footprint than a traditional gas station. Powering these remote stations would likely be hydrogen according to Mount and would be an easy and quick solution to quickly expand the infrastructure for electric vehicles to thrive.

Through this experience, Power Innovations learned a tremendous amount about how to provide electric power to these kinds of events and how to better serve the rally in the coming years. It’s an exciting venture, which should translate into more real-world learning on how all these new electric vehicles will receive power.

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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