Following Aptera, Ford, and General Motors, Rivian is the latest EV manufacturer to officially sign up to use Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (or NACS) on its vehicles in North America, instead of the Combined Charging System (or CCS1) currently utilized. So with Rivian adopting Tesla’s NACS, what happens next?
The switch from CCS1 to NACS is based on an agreement between Rivian and Tesla. It will take a few steps and a few years to implement.
Initially (as early as the spring of 2024), existing Rivian vehicles will gain access to more than 12,000 Tesla Supercharging stalls in the United States and Canada through special adapters. That’s very similar to what Ford and GM have said. In the case of the Rivian, the company already displays the locations of Superchargers in its navigation system, adding them after Tesla launched the first Superchargers for non-Tesla CCS1-compatible EVs in March. We can assume that just like in the cases of Ford and GM, authentication and payments will be all seamlessly integrated into Rivian software, so Rivian users will not have to use the Tesla app.
In 2025, Rivian will incorporate NACS charging inlets on its electric vehicles based on the R1-platform (R1T pickup and R1S three-row SUV). The Rivian NACS charging inlet is also to be utilized in future models based on the upcoming R2 platform.
“An adapter will be available to enable Rivian’s award-winning R1T and R1S to charge on the Supercharger network as early as spring 2024. Rivian will incorporate North American Charging Standard (NACS) charge ports as standard in future R1 vehicles starting in 2025, as well as in its upcoming R2 platform. “
At that point, the new NACS-compatible vehicles should be able to use older CCS1 fast chargers through adapters (which Tesla currently uses itself) to eliminate compatibility issues during the transition period.
There was no word about Rivian’s electric vans – technically based on the Rivian RCV platform – but it would be strange if this particular class of vehicles would remain with the CCS1 in the long term.
One of the most interesting elements of Rivian’s announcement is that its own Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) – with both AC charging points and DC fast chargers – will continue to expand.
Rivian does not elaborate more on the future of its network, but it’s clear that if its electric vehicles are equipped with NACS charging inlets, then the chargers also will be equipped with NACS plugs instead of J1772 (AC) or CCS1 (DC).
Rebecca Tinucci, Tesla’s Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure, said:
“It’s great to see the industry coming together to adopt the North American Charging Standard. By doing so, we’re collectively ensuring all EV drivers have access to easy to use, reliable charging hardware. We look forward to welcoming Rivian owners to thousands of our Superchargers across North America.”
RJ Scaringe, Founder and CEO of Rivian, said:
“We’re excited to work with Tesla and to see collaborations like this help advance the world toward carbon neutrality. The adoption of the North American Charging Standard will enable our existing and future customers to leverage Tesla’s expansive Supercharger network while we continue to build out our Rivian Adventure Network. We look forward to continuing to find new ways to accelerate EV adoption.”