Rivian Automotive Inc. launched the first fast chargers on its Adventure Network this week, designed to provide dedicated electric vehicle charging for owners near off-road areas such as Yosemite, Death Valley and 600 future sites across North America.
The California-based startup launched its first site in Salida, Colo., on Monday with four Level 3 chargers rated at more than 200 kilowatts of output. Under ideal conditions, Rivian vehicles can add up to 140 miles of range in 20 minutes on the charging units, Rivian said in a statement.
Rivian is delivering the R1T pickup to reservation holders and will soon deliver R1S SUVs. Both have a high level of off-road ability. But adventure EVs are new to the market and charging stations are not always close to national parks and camping spots.
“Thanks to its natural beauty and abundant nearby recreational opportunities, Salida is an ideal location for Rivian’s first fast charging site,” Rivian said. The site includes one pull-through fast charger for vehicles towing trailers.
The Salida charging site also features four Level 2 chargers available to the public at large. Rivian brands the slower chargers as Waypoints. Level 2 chargers use a 240-volt electricity supply, similar to that of an electric clothes dryer. Level 3 units that use direct current are much faster.
The second fast charger sites opening this week are in Inyokern and Bishop, Calif. The two locations, 130 miles apart, allow access to Sequoia National Forest, Kings Canyon National Park, Mammoth Lakes and other adventure areas near the Nevada border.
“We designed Rivian charging to support electrified adventure, and these first sites demonstrate how we’re enabling drivers to responsibly reach some of the nation’s most breathtaking natural spaces,” said Trent Warnke, senior director of energy and charging solutions.
In addition to providing charging near recreation areas, Warnke said, the fast charging network will also involve installing chargers along major transportation corridors coast to coast. In the first phase, Rivian is targeting 3,500 fast chargers at its planned 600 North American locations.
Rivian said in response to questions from Automotive News that its fast chargers would remain for Rivian owners only for the time being.
“They’ll initially support just Rivian vehicles to help us deliver the best possible experience for our customers. However, our chargers are designed using a standardized CCS connector that could work with other EVs in the future,” Rivian said in an email. “We are in the midst of our production ramp and want to make sure our customers have access to a great charging experience as they take ownership of their vehicles.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said he wants to open up the automaker’s Supercharger network globally and has done so in some areas of Europe.
Rivian also said that it’s working on projects to add clean energy to the electric grid in order to match the energy use on its Network and Waypoints chargers.
“Rivian is building a portfolio of high-impact renewable projects around the country that balance technologies, location and energy solutions,” the company said. “Integrating these solutions into a companywide sustainability strategy is a foundational step on our path toward net-zero carbon emissions.”