Rivian adopts Tesla’s NACS, joining Ford and GM

If Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) wasn’t already the de facto charging standard for North America, dethroning the Combined Charging System (CCS) in a matter of weeks, it certainly is now. On Tuesday Rivian announced it has signed a deal with Tesla to adopt NACS and gain access to the 12,000 Superchargers across Canada and the US, joining Ford and GM who have recently announced similar deals.

Just yesterday we reported that Rivian CFO Claire McDonough said the company was open to adopting NACS, but that they remained committed to building out its own Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) using CCS connectors. We commented that it seemed like a shortsighted decision, especially considering they were going to be launching their next generation R2 platform in 2025, giving them the perfect opportunity to integrate the NACS port into that design now.

As it turns out, Rivian is planning to do just that. In a press release this morning the company said they are going to be adding the NACS port to their cars starting in 2025, including both their R1 vehicles and the R2 platform. Existing owners won’t be left out however, as a Tesla-designed adapter will become available in the spring of 2024 to allow them to plug in to the Supercharger network in Canada and the US.

“We’re excited to work with Tesla and to see collaborations like this help advance the world toward carbon neutrality. The adoption of the North American Charging Standard will enable our existing and future customers to leverage Tesla’s expansive Supercharger network while we continue to build out our Rivian Adventure Network. We look forward to continuing to find new ways to accelerate EV adoption,” said RJ Scaringe, Founder and CEO of Rivian.

Rivian’s press release makes no mention of how this decision impacts their plans to build out their own charging network. As noted above McDonough said they remained committed to the RAN, which is supposed to grow to include 600 sites and 3,500 charging connectors. The company will likely continue with building out the RAN, but the plans might be scaled back a bit now that they have access to 12,000 Superchargers.

Last year Tesla opened up their elegant charge port design for anyone to use, calling it the North American Charging Standard in the hopes it would become just that. Many thought it was too late to have an impact with all other automakers embracing the CCS connector for their electric vehicles (EVs). It seemed that way until last month when Ford announced it was siding with Tesla and adopting NACS. The impact of that decision sent shockwaves through the EV industry, pushing GM to do the same just a few weeks later, along with almost all EV charging providers who said they were going to add NACS connectors.

Interestingly, our readers saw this decision coming. In a poll on Twitter earlier this month Rivian was picked as the next automaker that would adopt NACS. Hyundai/Kia received the second most votes, so could we be seeing another announcement soon? Let us know in the comments below who you think will be next to adopt NACS.

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