Rivian owners better get your trips in quickly, as free EV charging at Adventure Network sites is about to end. Rivian said it will begin billing customers for Adventure Network EV charging starting in early November.
Rivian’s Adventure Network is an ecosystem of DC fast-charging sites designed to enable longer travels.
Earlier this year, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said on the WVFRM podcast that the EV maker decided to build its own network after seeing the severe underinvestment in public charging.
Rivian had around 30 sites in April, each with six fast chargers. The company plans to install over 3,500 fast chargers at about 600 sites across the US within the next two years. Rivian selects locations based on ease of use, such as popular roads and highways.
The stations are designed for future charging output of over 300 kW, but that number is around 220 kW today. Owners can add up to 140 miles of range in 20 minutes.
Since Rivian builds the system from the ground up, the EV maker is continuously improving the charging experience.
The company is also installing over 10,000 level 2 chargers in popular destinations across North America through Rivian Waypoints.
Like the R1T and R1S models, the Adventure Network features OTA updates, allowing Rivian to remotely diagnose and address issues quickly.
Although the service was previously free for Rivian customers as the network was being built out, the company plans to begin billing soon.
Rivian says free Adventure Network EV charging ending
Rivian sent an email to owners explaining that it will begin billing at all Rivian Adventure Network charging sites starting in early November.
The company says the charging experience will not change. You will still pull up, plug in, and begin charging automatically. However, owners will now be automatically billed.
You will be able to view pricing on the charger screen itself, the Rivian app, and through your vehicle’s navigation.
Although the EV charging network is exclusive to Rivian drivers, the company plans to open it up to other brands soon.
Starting in 2024, Rivian owners will also be able to charge at over 12,000 Tesla Supercharger locations.
Although the free EV charging was a nice perk for early Rivian owners, the company is doubling down on its expansion.
Rivian could use the additional revenue to invest back in the company to build more charging stations (or EVs).
Scaringe said that Tesla’s EV charging network was one of the best options today. He added that Rivian aims to not only match the number of Tesla chargers but also in terms of reliability and uptime with its own.
Reliability is a critical part of EV charging. With plans to continuously improve the network, billing customers makes sense at this point.
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