Rivian Is Copying Tesla's Homework In The Best Possible Way

Electric Vehicles / Comments

The EV carmaker aims to open its charging network to all EV owners next year.

Rivian has confirmed plans to open its charging infrastructure, called the Adventure Network, to electric vehicles from every brand sometime next year.

This announcement comes after rival Tesla opened its Supercharger Network to non-Tesla owners in February. Only some Tesla Superchargers are equipped to do so, but the EV automaker will continue upgrading those chargers for that purpose. As for Rivan, CEO and founder R.J. Scaringe acknowledged Tesla's charging network as being the best out there compared to rivals like Electrify America and ChargePoint.

"In terms of independent networks, there are only a couple out there outside of Tesla, and they're not very good," Scaringe said in an interview with tech podcast WVFRM earlier this month. "A lot of them have real reliability problems or uptime problems and are not very predictable. So this is one of the reasons we're investing so much money and so much capital into building out a very large network."

Rivian sees a business opportunity, plain and simple.

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Why It Makes Sense

Another reason Scaringe is so bullish on expanding the network is US government subsidies. If Rivian opens the Adventure Network to people who don't own an R1T or R1S, it'll be eligible to receive a portion of the $7.5 billion in federal funds granted by the Biden administration to expand the nation's charging grid.

Growing the company's national footprint beyond vehicles with some government money assistance? It just makes sense.

The Adventure Network currently consists of 30 DC fast chargers, and the goal is to increase that number to 600 charging stations strategically located across the US and Canada. That translates to 3,500 fast chargers. The Adventure Network, which began construction in 2021, is unique compared to rivals because the chargers are located in remote areas occupied by outdoor adventure seekers.

Mountain biking and hiking trails, kayaking spots, and rock climbing crags are a few location types where Rivian chargers are being set up.

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Copying From The Best

Not only is Rivian diving into an EV outdoor enthusiast market its competitors have mostly ignored, but it's also upgrading the chargers themselves. Presently, they can deliver up to 200 kW, and Rivian wants to boost that to 300 kW, if not more. Rivian's expansion plans also include installing Level 2 chargers at more urban locations, such as hotels and restaurants.

Tesla essentially wrote the book on how an EV automaker can flourish with its vehicles and expand its reach to those who don't own Teslas. Rivian has clearly taken note, and the ongoing reliability issues plaguing EA and ChargePoint means there's space in the charging network market for another star to emerge.

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