According to Rivian EV owners, the manufacturer recently sent them an email revealing that the Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) will soon no longer be free, as Rivian will introduce charging fees.
The company intends to introduce these fees at all its sites starting in November, associating the cost of charging with the total kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy used, where possible. In some states, charging might be time-based instead.
“Starting in early November, billing will begin at all Rivian Adventure Network charging sites.”
The pricing has not been announced as of the time of writing this article. However, the company says that customers will be able to view specific pricing on the charger screen itself, the Rivian app, and through vehicle navigation. There is a big chance that charging fees will differ depending on the site or demand, so there will be no universal pricing.
Rivian noted that the user experience will remain plain and simple – “simply pull up, plug in and charging will automatically start“. Charging fees will be automatically billed to the payment information saved in the customer’s Rivian Account.
Starting from early November, Rivian will begin billing for charges at their Rivian Adventure Network sites.
Charging remains as easy as before just plug & charge!!⚡️ pic.twitter.com/re2Z4dgYHy
— Rivian Adventure Network Tracker (@RANtracker) October 28, 2023
The Rivian Adventure Network (and specifically its DC fast chargers) will probably become available for non-Rivian EVs at some point in the future. The company said a few years ago that such a move is planned, and that Rivian customers will receive special rates once that happens.
The RAN network, started in 2021, was designed to support Rivian drivers in reaching interesting locations on their adventures. It promised to expand very quickly, reaching about 600 DC fast charging sites with over 3,500 Rivian-engineered chargers (CCS1) and over 10,000 AC charging points (J1772) in the United States and Canada by the end of 2023.
The DC fast chargers are initially rated at over 200 kilowatts (for R1T and R1S models), and will later offer over 300 kW charging power for future vehicles. The AC charging points are rated at 11.5 kW.
However, the rollout was much slower than anticipated (see the map below):
Because Rivian officially announced a switch from the CCS1 charging connector to the North American Charging Standard (NACS) charging connector starting in 2025 (with adapters coming in 2024), the RAN network is also expected to include NACS-compatible charging infrastructure.
It might take a year until the NACS deployment begins, but it will have to start before the vehicles are equipped with the NACS charging inlet in 2025 if Rivian wants to handle the switch smoothly.