Rivian has announced plans to establish a charging network across the United States well off-the-beaten track.
In addition to establishing a network of fast-chargers along interstates and through cities, Rivian will set up lots of chargers at various destinations in nature, such as mountain bike and hiking trails, to kayaking spots and popular rock-climbing areas.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to create Rivian charging locations that aren’t on the interstate, that help draw you or enable you to go to places that normally are not the kinds of places that invite or welcome electric vehicles because of charging infrastructure,” Rivian founder and chief executive RJ Scaringe told Tech Crunch in a recent interview.
“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how you can essentially create these curated drives where, depending on your point of interest, you can pick different paths. If you want to stop midway through the trip for a one-mile, two-mile, or five-mile hike, you know, here’s a route that you want to take, and here’s a charging location right next to it.”
Whereas many car manufacturers are partnering up with third-party charging provides like ChargePoint, EVConnect, EVGo, Electrify America, and Greenlots, Rivian will establish its own charging network just like Tesla. This network will include fast-chargers along interstates and slower destination charges elsewhere.
Scaringe revealed that Rivian has decided to go solo with its charging network so it can control all aspects of the experience.
“The challenge is we don’t control those networks, so the payments platforms, the uptime, the performance, the ability to reserve a charger — all those things that take the friction of charging away — we don’t truly control,” said Scaringe. “With the Rivian Adventure Network, we have 100% control of that; we get to know what vehicles are charging or how they’re charging, the rates. We can be really creative in terms of locations, so it can allow us to get to places that are very specific and unique to Rivian.”
Rivian’s models use the Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors, an international standard that is gaining popularity. In theory, this would mean other CCS-equipped vehicles could use Rivian charging stations but it’s possible they could be locked out with software.