Rivian Is the Latest EV Maker To Adopt Tesla's NACS Charging Standard

Rivian adopts NACS 7 photos
Photo: u/Fxsx24 via Reddit | Edited
Tesla's Charging ConnectorTesla's Charging StationRivian's Charging Network in June 2023Tesla SuperchargerMultiple Tesla Cars Charging at a Covered SuperchargerRAN
Rivian is the latest carmaker to announce a partnership with Tesla to adopt the North American Charging Standard (NACS). The EV startup will gain access to more than 12,000 Superchargers in 2024 and will implement Tesla's charge port on its vehicles in 2025.
They said the North American Charging Standard (NACS) is not a proper standard until it gets wide adoption. Tesla's ambitious plan to have America adopt its charge port got the first endorsement from Ford at the end of May. The Blue Oval bowing to Tesla's conditions triggered a chain of events that signed the death sentence for the CCS standard used by other carmakers. Two weeks later, General Motors fell in line while equipment manufacturers and service providers flocked to adopt NACS.

Recently, Stellantis and Hyundai admitted they are "evaluating" NACS for their vehicles sold in North America. Still, the next carmaker to adopt Tesla's standard was Rivian, despite rumors that the startup has strong reasons to stick with CCS. A few days ago, Rivian CFO Claire McDonough said the company is focusing on expanding Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) charging infrastructure. Many interpreted this as dismissing the NACS standard when it was nothing but.

"We're dedicated to the continued build-out of our Rivian Adventure Network that is enabling and allowing many of our consumers to have access to a high-quality charging experience, but certainly open over the future to partnerships or approaches to work with others as we all want to help enable the acceleration of EV adoption," said McDonough at a Deutsche Bank conference on June 15.

Today's announcement proves that McDonough was, in fact, endorsing Tesla, especially as she was probably aware of behind-the-scenes discussions on this topic. This is a win-win-win situation for Tesla, Rivian, and Rivian owners. Tesla will expand its user base for energy services and, potentially, expose more people to the Tesla magic. Rivian will offer their customers unfettered access to reliable charging infrastructure. And finally, Rivian owners are the primary beneficiaries of this partnership. The only party that gets the short stick from this arrangement is Tesla owners, who will see the Supercharger stations invaded by other EVs.

Based on the new partnership, Rivian owners will get access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers with adapters in the US and Canada as early as next spring. The NACS port will become standard on Rivian vehicles such as R1S and R1T starting in 2025, enabling access to more Tesla Superchargers. The upcoming R2 compact EVs will also launch with NACS ports, as confirmed by Rivian. The startup will continue to expand its own Rivian Adventure Network, although it didn't say if it will continue to offer CCS1 plugs in the future.

Tesla has open-sourced the NACS standard and only sells the equipment at cost. Still, it benefits from selling electricity to EV owners, including fees for using the Superchargers. Tesla Superchargers account for about 60% of DC fast chargers available in the US and have a reliability rate of more than 99,95%, as Tesla revealed in a recent video. Still, availability could become an issue with more EVs using the Superchargers unless Tesla vastly expands its charging network.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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