Besides price, the other major factor challenging wide EV adoption in the United States is the current state of the country’s charging network infrastructure. Tesla was the first out of the gate and has the largest charging network in the country—if not the world—but it only recently began to open its chargers up to non-Tesla EVs. Other independent networks like EVgo and Electrify America have spread across the country, but those networks don’t have as many fast chargers as Tesla’s network.
If state governments are going to push EV adoption then more charging stations are needed. Some restaurants and retail outlets are doing their part to add charging stations to their establishments but that won’t be enough. Not unlike Tesla, Rivian has started building out its own charging division called the “Rivian Adventure Network.” The automaker’s chargers were exclusive to its vehicles like the Rivian R1S and R1T. Though it looks like Rivian is getting closer to opening up its network to all EVs according to Inside EVs.
Rivian is going to start opening up its chargers to the public next year. So far, Rivian has already added 12 stations and 72 charging points in the first quarter of the year which outpaces Electrify America according to the report. Rivian says that it plans to build “10,000+” level 2 chargers and 3,500+ DC fast chargers in the United States and Canada. Currently Rivian has less than 200 charging stations nationwide so the plan calls for a significant increase, even if it’s far behind Tesla’s still growing network.
Currently, only the level 2 “Waypoint” chargers which use J1772 plugs and can charge up to 11.5 kW are open to everyone. Rivian’s 200 kW DC level 3 fast chargers which can provide 140 miles of range in 20 minutes should be opening up soon, based on the InsideEVs report. Considering that the Biden administration wants to accelerate EV adoption as fast as possible, we imagine Rivian is incentivized to open up its level 3 chargers to other vehicles sooner than later.
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