Rivian has presented plans for its own charging networks, in which the North American electric car startup is strongly inspired by Tesla’s Superchargers and Destination Chargers. Rivian is focusing on North America with the new network, and there is no mention of a similar project for Europe.
The ‘Rivian Adventure Network’, which will be available exclusively to owners of Rivian’s electric vehicles, will include more than 3,500 DC chargers at more than 600 locations in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2023, Rivian said. According to the report, these DC fast chargers will initially offer more than 200 kW of charging power and will later be upgraded to more than 300 kW. Similar to the Superchargers, the Rivian fast chargers are expected to be located on major highways and main roads, as well as have cafes or stores nearby.
At the current V3 Superchargers, charging powers of up to 250 kW are known to be possible. For the Semi, however, Tesla is also working on ‘megachargers’ with higher charging power. In its 2020 annual report, Tesla reported 2,564 Supercharger stations worldwide with 23,277 charging points.
While the ‘Adventure Network’ has clear parallels to Tesla’s Supercharger network, a separate AC charging network analogous to Tesla’s ‘Destination Charging’ is also planned. These ‘Rivian Waypoints’ are to offer an AC charging capacity of 11.5 kW. The company promises more than 10,000 such AC chargers by the end of 2023. A comparison with Tesla is difficult here, however, as Tesla has not published any figures for Destination Chargers since the third quarter of 2019 – at that time, there were 23,906 charging points.
The first ‘Waypoints’ are to be built at the 42 state parks in Colorado, where two charging points are planned for each – with these locations Rivian obviously wants to underline its image as an outdoor and adventure brand. Paraphrasing, the ‘Waypoints’ are as follows: “So you can charge extra miles while having fun.”
There are two outstanding issues with the ‘Waypoints’, however: Rivian did not specify whether the AC chargers, like the ‘Adventure Network’, will be Rivian-exclusive or open to electric cars from other brands. Pricing for the charging has also not been confirmed.
Just as Tesla also offers its AC charging points as a ‘Wall Connector’ as a wall box, Rivian also wants to offer a charging solution for private properties with the ‘Wall Charger’. As with the ‘Waypoints’, the charging power here is 11.5 kW. Rivian has not yet named a price for the ‘Wall Charger’.
While the ‘Wall Charger’ only has a status LED according to the published images, the ‘Waypoint’ device for public charging is equipped with a display. But even the private wall box is said to have a wireless connection, allowing it to receive over-the-air updates.
The company states that each Rivian will come with a mobile charger. With this, customers should be able to charge from both 240-volt and 120-volt outlets. Whereas even Rivian states that 120-volt charging is “helpful in a pinch” but “probably not your daily charging method.”