Electric pickup maker Rivian has announced they will cease offering free charging at Rivian Adventure Network locations starting in early November 2023. After that date, billing for charging sessions based on kWh usage will take effect.
Since launching the R1T pickup truck, Rivian has allowed owners to juice up their vehicles at no cost as an initial owner benefit. However, this complimentary charging period is ending now that an expanded owner base and charging network are established.
Rivian informed owners of the change via email, stating they seek to strike a sustainable balance between rewarding loyal customers and maintaining a viable business. As the company grows, free unlimited fast charging is not financially sustainable long-term.
Owners will soon see charging costs automatically applied to their payment method on file based on exact kilowatt-hours dispensed, rates are reportedly competitive with third-party public DC fast charging stations.
Rivian emphasizes that the actual charging experience remains unchanged. Drivers simply plug into Rivian Adventure Network stations to initiate hassle-free billing based on usage rather than session time.
While no longer free, Rivian’s expansive proprietary fast charging network provides reliability and consistency for owners as they rack up the electric miles, for longer trips, the network delivers confidence and convenience.
As competition heats up in the EV pickup segment, Rivian is wise to evolve its charging model for stability. Loyal early adopters were rewarded handsomely with free fast charging, but that luxury cannot last forever.
Phasing out free charging allows Rivian to grow responsibly and accelerate expansion of its charging infrastructure. For owners, Road Trip charging at Rivian stations will remain straightforward and intuitive despite the costs.