Rivian is following in the footsteps of Tesla with plans to open up its charging network to owners of other electric vehicles (EVs). Known as the Rivian Adventure Network (RAN), the company currently has 30 DC fast charging sites in the US, all of which are currently exclusively for Rivian owners.
In an interview with the tech podcast WVFRM, CEO RJ Scaringe confirmed that Rivian will open its charging network to other EVs. Scaringe declined to the give a timeline for when that will happen, only saying “we’re going to open it up.” (via Automotive News) The confirmation comes after CFO Claire McDonough said last week that Rivian plans to join the Federal Charging Fund to rapidly expand the number of chargers, which requires chargers to be available to all EVs. McDonough said Rivian would be able to begin receiving funding in 2024, suggesting the RAN will open to other EVs later this year or early next year.
According to Scaringe, another reason Rivian is changing course is due to the state of existing public charging infrastructure, which he says has not kept pace with the rate of EV adoption, both in terms of the number of charging stations available, and their reliability.
“In the United States, there’s been a massive underinvestment in charging infrastructure, and realizing that, we decided to build out our own infrastructure. A lot of [public charging networks] 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.”” he said.
Scaringe did however praise Tesla and their Supercharger network, which opened up to other EVs earlier this year with the addition of the Magic Dock. Scaringe called it “clearly the best network that’s out there,” largely due to its reliability. It is that high level of reliability that Rivian will attempt to duplicate, with Scaringe saying they are targeting 99% uptime for their network which he says will be achieved through monitoring and maintenance.
Rivian currently has 30 DC fast charging sites, but has plans to install 3,500 DC fast chargers at 600 sites in Canada and the US. Rivian’s chargers provide over 200kW but will eventually be updated to provide 300kW+ in the future. The company is also building out a network of Level 2 chargers, known as Rivian Waypoints, that are available to all EV owners.