Public charging station availability is one factor holding back widespread EV adoption in the United States. Tesla recently opened its 1,400+ U.S.-based chargers to the public, and now Rivian plans to do the same. CEO RJ Scaringe made the revelation on the WVFRM Podcast earlier this month.
Speaking with Marques Brownlee in the cab of a Rivian R1S, the CEO explained, “In the United States, there’s been a massive under-investment in charging infrastructure. And realizing that we’ve decided to build out our own infrastructure.” While admitting that the Rivian charging network, dubbed the Caribbean Adventure network, is in “its early stages,” Scaringe stated the DC fast charge network has about 30 charging stations online but plans to expand that to more than 600 within two years.
Scaringe also pointed out that, besides Tesla’s fast charging network, there are only a couple of independent charging networks in the United States and labeled them “not very good,” citing reliability and uptime problems. He stated this is why Rivian decided to spend hundreds of millions of dollars of capital to expand the company’s charging offerings.
The priority for building the new charging areas will be along the key corridors along the west and east coasts, then connecting the two, according to Scaringe. He went on to call Tesla’s charging network “the best,” and hopes that Rivian’s expanded network will match the quality of the Tesla network in terms of reliability, quality, and uptime.
In regards to exclusivity among EV brands and chargers, Scrainge stated, “We’re going to open it up, right now it’s Rivian’s only,” indicating that the company’s expanded network will one day be open to other EVs.
Scrainge’s statement about opening up the company’s charging network to the public echoes previous public remarks by Rivian CFO Claire McDonough that the automaker will do by 2024, Electrek reports.
Source: WVFRM Podcast