Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said in a recent interview that the company would open up its network of electric vehicle chargers to other car companies, following the moves of automakers like Tesla, who have had exclusivity in their EV charging posts.
“We’re going to open it up,” Scaringe said on the WVFRM podcast earlier this month.
Scaringe said the move has no specific timeline, but car companies must continue to build out their EV charging networks to make options more available to drivers. “In the United States, there’s been a massive underinvestment in charging infrastructure, and realizing that, we decided to build out our own infrastructure,” he said (via Automotive News). “A year from now, the density of Rivian chargers will really help solve a lot of these core issues, and we’ll see third-party networks start to build up as well.”
Tesla and Rivian operate EV charging networks with exclusivity to their drivers, or at least they did. Tesla had the most robust charging infrastructure of any car company or even a third-party charging entity. Still, its Superchargers were only available to Tesla drivers for a long time.
This made many of those considering an EV quick to buy a Tesla. Charging an EV is still one of the main driving factors for those in the market to buy one, and availability is key.
Tesla chose earlier this year to open its Supercharger Network to other EV brands in the U.S. While it is slowly moving toward opening these locations up, there are only a handful of locations currently where non-Tesla drivers can utilize Tesla Superchargers.
Nevertheless, Tesla made the move to qualify for a slice of the $7.5 billion the Biden Administration set aside for public charger funding.
Scaringe’s comments follow that of CFO Claire McDonough, who said at the Bank of America Securities Summit earlier this month that the company would open its Adventure Network to join the “Federal Charging Fund” in the U.S.
This move would also qualify Rivian for the federal incentives that would woo automakers to open their charging networks to other EV companies.
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