Electric-vehicle maker Rivian Automotive is borrowing a page from Tesla Inc. and building an exclusive, fast-charger network for its coming R1T pickup and R1S SUV.
Dubbed the Rivian Adventure Network, it promises an ambitious 600 super-charging stations offering 3,500 chargers by 2023 on routes across the United States and Canada. The chargers will be exclusive to Rivian owners, though a secondary, so-called Waypoint network of 10,000, 240-volt chargers will be open to the public at hotels and other businesses.
With big capital reserves, Rivian and Tesla are separating themselves from the electric-vehicle pack by building exclusive charging networks. Other legacy automakers (as well as less capitalized EV startups like Lucid and Fisker Inc.) intend to rely on third-party, fast-charging networks like Electrify America, Chargepoint and EVGO.
Each Rivian charging station will operate six chargers on average at speeds starting at 200 kW (with planned 300 kW). Tesla’s 150-250 kW fast-charging stations — “Super Chargers” in Tesla speak — average nine stalls per station with the largest housing 56 stalls south of San Francisco.
Tesla’s Supercharger network launched in 2012 with its Model S sedan and has grown to 1,101 stations across North America. It has added enormous overhead cost to the young electric automaker — but has also been a key factor in establishing its EV dominance as Teslas can reliably slake their thirst for electrons on long-distance trips.