Rivian soon will apply a major change to its in-house developed Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) charging network, which consists of AC and DC charging points.
Rivian EV owners report through multiple channels that they received an email from the manufacturer about the upcoming end of free charging at the RAN network.
The company wrote: "Starting in early November, billing will begin at all Rivian Adventure Network charging sites," although without providing any additional details about the pricing. We can only guess that the cost of charging will be different for the AC Level 2 and DC fast charging points.
Rivian explains that nothing will change about the charging experience – an EV simply pulls up, plugs in and charging will automatically start (charging fees will be automatically billed to your Rivian Account, similar to the Tesla Supercharging network).
Where possible, the charging fee will be based on the total amount of dispensed energy (measured in kilowatt-hours - kWh). Details about a charging session will be displayed on the charger screen, the Rivian app, and through vehicle navigation.
The Rivian Adventure Network was announced in 2021 with a bold promise that by the end of 2023, it will include over 3,500 individual fast-charging stalls (200-kW with an option for more in the future) at more than 600 sites in the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, the number of AC Level 2 charging points (11.5-kW), called Rivian Waypoints, was expected to exceed 10,000 in the same time frame.
The first DC fast chargers were officially launched in June 2022, and as one can guess, Rivian was not able to meet its ambitious goal. The map provided by Rivian indicates that the number of sites – especially DC fast charging – is relatively low. We counted just about 60 DC charging sites, all installed only in the U.S.
When it comes to the upcoming charging fees, that's not a surprise. Rivian clearly said in 2021 that the network will initially be exclusive to Rivian EVs, and later will be open to other EVs, while Rivian EVs are expected to get special rates.
Meanwhile, the company is making a switch from the CCS1 charging inlet to the Tesla-developed North American Charging Standard (NACS) charging standard, starting in 2025. This probably means that soon Rivian sites will be equipped with dual-head CCS1 and NACS charging plugs. The J1772 AC charging plugs will be supplemented by the NACS ones too.