Rivian plans to install EV chargers in Tennessee’s 56 state parks

Rivian electric vehicle charging stations are coming to yet another state park system. The EV startup said it would install its so-called “waypoint” chargers in 56 state parks in Tennessee, four months after it announced a similar agreement with the state of Colorado.

This is the next step in Rivian’s plan to build out its network of more than 10,000 Level 2 AC chargers by the end of 2023. Installing the Charger in state parks and other remote locations is a key aspect of Rivian’s brand strategy: positioning itself as an eco-friendly automaker for outdoorsy types, even if they own a Rivian vehicle. Waypoint chargers will be open to the public and accessible to all electric vehicle brands with a J1772 plug.

As part of the agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Rivian will design and install the chargers at no cost, and will cover all servicing, maintenance and upgrades for 10 years. The automaker said it would also cover any necessary utility upgrades associated with charger installation — for example, improvements to the electrical service panel or transformer.

image credit: rivian (Opens in a new window)

Rivian may start installing the charger as soon as this fall. Level 2 chargers can provide up to 11.5 kW of power. This roughly translates to adding up to 25 miles of range per hour for both the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV. While waiting hours for battery refills isn’t ideal for chargers located along highways and busy roads, Rivian says these sites will allow drivers to “top up for miles while enjoying a day trip or overnight campout “

Charging will be provided initially at no cost, though the automaker said future costs may depend on how the state recovers the cost of electricity.

Rivian Waypoints is separate from the company’s so-called Adventure Network in that it plans to manufacture more than 3,500 DC fast chargers exclusively for Rivian customers. Those chargers will be able to provide up to 140 miles of range in about 20 minutes.

Rivian founder RJ Scaringe has been open about his desire to develop charging networks including in hard-to-reach places — a notable difference from a company like Tesla, whose proprietary network of Superchargers is more traditional and even higher- Located in the end places.

“We are excited about the opportunity to create Rivian charging locations that are not on the Interstate, to help draw you in or enable you to go to places that would typically be inviting or inviting to electric vehicles because of the charging infrastructure. Not the kinds of places that are welcoming,” he said in an extensive interview with Nerdshala’s Kirsten Korosek. “We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how you can essentially create these curated drives where, depending on your interests, you can choose different paths. If you want to go one mile, two miles or five miles If you want to stop in the middle of a trip for a hike, you know, there’s a route you’ll want to take and there’s a charging spot right next to it.

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