It will be a bit like Tesla’s Supercharger network, but with with a nature-focused twist.
Most of Tesla’s global success is thanks to its world class electric vehicles that it builds, vehicles so good they have forever reshaped the automotive industry. However, the other big part of the Tesla promise, aside from that of providing tech-packed, long range EVs that can almost drive themselves has to do with the all-important Supercharger network, which is Rivian will also try to offer a similar service, albeit one that’s focused more on adventure.
It’s even called the Rivian Adventure Network, hinting at the fact that the locations where you’ll find chargers will be quite diverse. Basically, while the manufacturer will undeniably have chargers in built-up areas, there will also be some chargers placed off the beaten path in order to allow Rivian drivers to take their vehicles into nature to enjoy the outdoors, but without the threat of range anxiety.
The official description for this charging network, taken from Rivian’s site says
‘ Yes, we'll be building the Rivian Adventure Network — a nationwide network of fast-charging stations capable of charging up to 140 miles in 20 minutes. The network pairs with your vehicle to help you get to your destination by automatically routing you through any needed charging stops along the way. Beyond our own network, we are also integrating with other nationwide CCS networks to ensure charging is always easily accessible — also available from your navigation. ‘
We’ll have to wait and see if the chargers placed in places where people can engage in various outdoor activities (mountain biking, hiking or camping) will be Rivian’s own or if they will be run by third parties. As per the explanation above, the network will feature a mix of stations only some of which will be actually controlled by Rivian itself.
According to TechCrunch, Rivian’s founder, RJ Scaringe, said
‘ We’re excited about the opportunity to create Rivian charging locations that aren’t on the interstate, that help draw you or enable you to go to places that normally are not the kinds of places that invite or welcome electric vehicles because of charging infrastructure. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how you can essentially create these curated drives where, depending on your point of interest, you can pick different paths. If you want to stop midway through the trip for a one-mile, two-mile or five-mile hike, you know, here’s a route that you want to take and here’s a charging location right next to it. ‘
This is definitely a smart approach as people who buy Rivians are definitely more likely to drive their vehicle to a nice natural spot, compared to those who just buy a taller EV for the better visibility and superior feeling of safety. Both the R1S and R1T have a ground clearance of 14.4 inches and a maximum wading depth of over three feet, so you will be able to take it to quite remote places and having the piece of mind that there’s a charger nearby will make the experience a more pleasant one.
One change compared to the Tesla Supercharger network is that Rivian’s network may not be strictly reserved for Rivian owners. In other words, since all these stations will have CCS connectors, other vehicles should also be able to charge there for a fee. This also means that Rivians can also use any CCS charger, thus allowing owners more freedom to pick their preferred spot to charge.
Of these charging stations in remote places, it is believed Rivian wants to open the first one in Moab, Utah, a location known for its difficult off-road trails, the kind of trails that would even test a Rivian off-road. It is expected to be completed sometime in 2021.