Forget partnerships. This is a Rivian-only network.
Tesla holds numerous advantages over other electric vehicle manufacturers with its powerful motors and long-range batteries, but its most significant weapon in the EV arms race is the Supercharger network. Companies like Volkswagen Group's Electrify America are rapidly building more EV charging stations to catch up with the Californian carmaker, but until these new networks become more widespread, Tesla's competition will still be at a distinct disadvantage.
Rivian is one such automaker that will need to quickly build charging infrastructure. The American company recently announced a new $2.65 billion investment, some of which will likely go towards building the Rivian Adventure Network. Rivian has provided some details about this new charging network in the past but just revealed more juicy details.
As promised, the Aventure Network will consist of DC fast chargers capable of adding 40 miles of range in 20 minutes. These chargers will work on the upcoming 2021 Rivian R1S SUV and 2021 Rivian R1T Truck, slated to begin deliveries in June. Rivian will strategically place the chargers at shops and cafes between popular cities across the US and Canada, including Alaska and Hawaii.
Some of the announced locations are between Los Angeles and Tahoe, Manhattan and the Adirondacks, San Francisco and Seattle, I-70 and The Rockies, along California Highway 395, and the entire Blue Ridge Parkway.
"All these routes and more will begin opening this year," says Rivian. Like Tesla's Supercharger Network, the Rivian Aventure Network is exclusively for Rivian owners.
It's unclear how many charging sites will open in 2021, but Rivian promises that 3,500 fast chargers will be available at over 600 sites by the end of 2023. To ensure that Rivian owners get their electricity from renewable sources, the network will use wind and solar wherever possible. The R1S and R1T will route owners to charging stations on the built-in navigation. Charging is completely automatic, meaning owners can pull up and plug in.
Before the DC chargers are fully available, Rivian Waypoint chargers will initially offer Level 2 AC 200-kW charging, adding 25 miles of range per hour. Over 10,000 of these Level 2 chargers will be installed across the US and Canada, including national parks, so that owners can charge after off-roading.