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A brand new automaker called Rivian is releasing its first models, the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, in 2022. This begs the question, how do you charge a Rivian? When a new electric car company enters the market, it isn’t like the old days when any standard vehicle could fill up at a gas station. Electric cars need chargers, a lot of them. As seen with Tesla already, a common approach is to fill public parking lots near malls or large businesses as well as rest areas with charging stations. The charging stations can be standard or like Tesla’s SuperCharger stations, which means they charge more quickly for those who need to get moving again.

Tesla has been planting these stations all over the world, as well as supplying buyers with their own home chargers. The home versions don’t charge as quickly, but if you’re home you usually have more time to charge up. So how does a brand new electric car company establish a network of charging stations across the country and world quickly enough for owners to stay on the move?

Where can you charge a Rivian?

A white 2022 Rivian R1T parked in the sand on a beach
2022 Rivian R1T | MotorTrend

To start out at the launch of Rivian’s first vehicles, it will make use of the pre-existing public charging network. Electrify America, ChargePoint, EVGo, and more are third-party brands that supply high-quality charging stations in public places, similar to the Tesla stations. By the year 2023, Rivian wants to establish its own network of charging stations. There will be 10,000 Waypoint chargers in similar locations to the Tesla and third-party charging stations across the country. Rivian says these chargers are capable of 11.5 kW of charging using the common J1772 plug design, which means Rivian chargers will work for non-Rivian vehicles.

When these types of chargers are installed on the property of businesses, the business can choose the cost of charging. Almost all of the currently available chargers from any brand in a public space are provided for free as of now. Rivian vehicles will not come with a home charger, but home chargers are available for purchase from Rivian. Supposedly, the home chargers are just as high quality and efficient as the public Waypoint chargers.

Rivian Adventure Network

A white 2022 Rivian R1T climbing up a dirt hill.
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

The DC charger system from Rivian will be titled the Rivian Adventure Network. The automaker plans to have 3,500 quick-charging stations in the U.S. and Canada by 2023. It takes an average of 20 minutes to add 140 miles of driving range to a vehicle. For reference, the Tesla Supercharger can give 200 miles of driving range in just 15 minutes. The amount of time isn’t too different, but 60 miles more is quite a lot. Either way, unless going on a long road trip, the Rivian DC quick charger should be more than enough in most cases to get owners where they need to be.

R1T pickup trucks and R1S SUVs will have a 190-kW peak charge rate, which Rivian says will be increased to 200, then 300 kW or more sometime down the road. The fast-charging stations will use 100 percent renewable energy production and will be exclusive for Rivian owners, unlike the Waypoint chargers.

Are charging stations necessary?

A Tesla Supercharger against a sky.
Tesla Supercharger | Tesla

Public charging stations serve several purposes. The first is a way for electric vehicle owners to charge their vehicles away from home without having to worry. The second is for the location of the charger, or the company that owns the charger to make money. Most of the public chargers you’d find will have connected apps for your phone, where you handle each transaction. Mainly, the chargers are just for people who are driving really far. If a typical day for a Rivian owner, or other electric vehicles, is a 20-minute commute, they need not worry. Charging an electric vehicle at home every night is more than enough to get you through the day. Public chargers are convenient for those driving hours at a time.

According to MotorTrend, during its cross-country trip with the Rivian R1T, they ran into some faulty chargers. Some of the public charging stations did not output enough power to charge the Rivian as quickly as advertised. That’s not the fault of the vehicle, but the third-party charging device. We expect the Rivian charging stations and home charger will output the power Rivian claims. MotorTrend also says the R1T pickup managed over 200 miles of driving without a charge, and Rivian has a 400+ mile version coming soon.

The Rivian R1T pickup truck and Rivian R1S SUV will be available at the beginning of 2022. Fortunately, it seems over the next year-or-so Rivian will have plenty of chargers up and running. Its network of charging stations seems to be exactly what owners will need, and keeps owners from asking; How do you charge a Rivian R1T or R1S?


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