Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian has announced its agreement to adopt Tesla’s widely recognized charging standard. By joining forces, Rivian aims to provide its customers with access to Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network, which consists of approximately 12,000 fast chargers across the United States and Canada. Starting from spring 2024, Rivian customers will be able to utilize Tesla Superchargers with the help of adapters. Furthermore, Rivian plans to introduce Tesla-style charging ports as a standard feature on its vehicles, beginning in 2025.
This collaboration aligns with Tesla’s recent efforts to establish its charging standard as the industry norm, evident through comparable agreements with General Motors and Ford. While automakers gain access to Tesla’s robust charging infrastructure, Tesla stands to benefit from supplying power to a wider group of electric vehicle drivers.
The significance of reliable charging infrastructure cannot be overstated, as it helps alleviate concerns of range anxiety among customers. Building and maintaining charging networks require substantial investments, which have deterred most automakers, except Tesla, from establishing their own. Analysts suggest that the limited number of non-Tesla electric vehicles on the road hampers the profitability of charging networks.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Tesla’s Superchargers currently make up approximately 60% of the available fast chargers in the United States. Although Tesla’s revenue from charging services is not explicitly disclosed, it constitutes a significant portion of the company’s overall revenue.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe expressed excitement over the partnership, highlighting the opportunity for Rivian’s electric truck and SUV buyers to benefit from Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network.
Tesla has made notable progress in displacing the rival Combined Charging System (CCS) as the dominant standard, despite initial backing of CCS by the Biden administration. Tesla’s move to embrace the North American Charging Standard (NACS), formerly a proprietary technology, has gained industry support. Manufacturers and operators of CCS chargers, including ABB E-mobility North America, Tritium DCFC, EVgo, and FreeWire, have rapidly announced their incorporation of NACS plugs into their charging stations following the agreements with Ford and GM.
While Rivian will continue expanding its own charging network, which is projected to include over 3,500 charging stations, this collaboration with Tesla marks a significant step towards bolstering the accessibility and convenience of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.