Because owners will need extra juice in the middle of nowhere.
Along with building the all-electric R1T and R1S, Rivian also wants to be known as an outdoor adventure lifestyle brand. Last summer, it proved to the world the R1T had what it takes to complete a 13,000-mile adventure through South America over a 100-day time period. Two trucks were driven by the supporting film crew for "Long Way Up," the latest adventure documentary from Hollywood star and Obi-Wan Kenobi himself, Ewan McGregor, and longtime close friend Charley Boorman. The pair rode all-electric Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
And because Rivian wants its customers to take their vehicles everywhere and anywhere, they'll also need to recharge them. TechCrunch reports the automaker has designed and begun building a network of DC fast-charging stations throughout the US.
The Rivian Adventure Network will consist of chargers at key locations like mountain bike and hiking trails, kayaking spots, and possible rock climbing crags.
"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," said Rivian founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe. "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."
These charging units are expected to provide up to 140 miles of range in just 20 minutes. What still remains a mystery is whether or not Rivian will open this network to non-Rivian owners.
Tesla's Supercharging network, for example, is exclusively for its owners. One indicator Rivian might open its network to non-owners is that the rapid charging connectors it uses are Combined Charging System (CCS) units, meaning that other EVs with the CCS standard can also connect, though it's possible software could be used to block their use.
Rivian hasn't said exactly how many off-road charging stations will be open by next summer - when R1T and R1S deliveries begin - but Scaringe did say that dozens of stations are planned for all 50 states, and each will have an average of six charging connectors.