Rivian Cuts Deal for Tesla Charging Network, Adopts Supercharger Connector

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

While most automakers were working out what their first all-electric model should be, Tesla was building up a proprietary charging network that helped assure that it would be the EV manufacturer other brands would envy. The vehicles themselves certainly became the benchmark for electric vehicles. But it was the network that guaranteed Tesla’s dominant position in the market. Simply having access to the Supercharger stations is one of the biggest perks of owning a Tesla, as they’re relatively common and suffer less downtime than rival networks.

Despite originally being exclusive to Tesla customers, the brand has decided to open its ports up to the whole world. Ford and General Motors have even signed agreements with the company so that their customers can utilize those charging stations in 2024. Now it appears to be Rivian’s turn.

On Tuesday, the brand announced that had likewise struck a deal with Tesla and would be adopting the North American Charging Standard (NACS). As with GM and Ford, customers are supposed to be able to utilize Tesla Superchargers early next year. Though Rivian was dropping some pretty unsubtle hints leading up to the news by issuing an over-the-air update that made the stations easier for its customers to find.

From Rivian:

 An adapter will be available to enable Rivian's award-winning R1T and R1S to charge on the Supercharger network as early as spring 2024. Rivian will incorporate North American Charging Standard (NACS) charge ports as standard in future R1 vehicles starting in 2025, as well as in its upcoming R2 platform.
Transportation is responsible for over a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, highlighting the urgent need to electrify the sector and preserve our world for future generations. By enabling drivers to charge their vehicles at a greater number of locations, this collaboration and others like it are important to help accelerate EV adoption.

“We’re excited to work with Tesla and to see collaborations like this help advance the world toward carbon neutrality,” Stated Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe. “The adoption of the North American Charging Standard will enable our existing and future customers to leverage Tesla’s expansive Supercharger network while we continue to build out our Rivian Adventure Network. We look forward to continuing to find new ways to accelerate EV adoption.”

As things currently stand, Tesla’s Superchargers represent a majority of the fast chargers that exist in North America. They represent about 60 percent of the entire market, giving every rival network a grand total of 40 percent when combined.

While there are far more standard charging points dotted across the country, EV drivers recoup most of their energy at home. Fast charging only becomes essential for electric owners hoping to take an extended road trip or needing to regain a significant amount of range in a short amount of time. Depending on the size of the battery, even Level 2 stations can take most of the day to recharge a vehicle that’s almost out of power.

This is not the case with Tesla’s Superchargers, which the company has said can recoup “up to” 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes. Gasoline may still be quicker. But improved charging capabilities are narrowing the gap and helping consumers rationalize EV purchases.

[Image: Rivian]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Kat Laneaux @jalop1991I get that. It should be that way. Bills should be one and only one. None of this...if you scratch my back, i'll scratch yours as long as you agree with this too. That's petty and bs. I guess no one has enough balls to stand up for what is right, regardless of which side you stand on. Do one bill and pass it but pass it on merits and not on tit for tat.
  • Kat Laneaux They do but the electric companies are striving to go higher on prices. They supposedly were petitioning to allow higher charges for Solar users, here in NC.As long as they have the money to buy regulations, anything can happen and I really don't feel like spending my dollars on satisfying those evil, money hungry people.
  • J I haven't owned a sedan since like 2011 had a ford fusion and impala then I discovered hatchbacks beats an SUV but the amount of stuff I can do with my little hatchbacks leaves sedan owners and even some SUV and truck owners surprised
  • Dougjp It seems like I'm in a minority by rejecting CUV/SUVs and wanting "cars" instead. Its because, comparing apples to apples (same specs), I don't want (a) worse performance, (b) worse handling, (c) worse fuel economy, (d) worse road & wind noise and (e) higher cost. I'm quite willing to PAY for shipping that costs way less than 1% of the difference between the cost of a car and a comparable CUV/SUV, to buy a bulky piece of furniture from a store that doesn't provide free shipping. Which I would seldom buy anyway. The problem is, people don't think logically, and would rather default to herd mentality. Its the same as why people buy "off road vehicles", complete with ugly add on patch body work to "look the part", then they never go off road.
  • FreedMike How about one for a brown diesel wagon?