Rivian climbs aboard NACS train, offers Tesla Supercharger access

July 18, 2023

American EV automaker Rivian Automotive announced it is embracing the North American Charging Standard (NACS) originally developed and implemented by rival Tesla. Rivian is the latest automaker to embrace the charging standard, joining an ever-growing list OEMs.

It’s been a popular couple weeks for the search term “NACS” as the Tesla plug has skyrocketed from a proprietary component to the true North American standard almost overnight. “Talk it into existence,” as they say as Tesla renamed its Charging Connector the North American Charging Standard when it began opening its Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs, but long before any other automaker joined the fold.

One could easily argue that the SAE combo (CCS Type 1) has remained the standard well after Tesla’s new nomenclature. Automakers like Rivian and Ford have been establishing their own North American charging networks using CCS rather than NACS and up until recently, solar EV startup Aptera Motors was the only company petitioning it to become the new standard.

NACS adoption wouldn’t truly explode until this past May when Tesla announced a surprising partnership with Ford Motor Company. Not only will Ford EV drivers soon gain access to adapters to utilize the 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in the US and Canada alone, but new Ford vehicles will come with the NACS plug integrated beginning in 2025.

GM quickly followed suit along with a myriad of charging equipment manufacturers. Today, Rivian announced it too will adopt the NACS while simultaneously expanding its own charging network.

Rivian to implement NACS on R1 EVs and new R2 platform

Top comment by Ted

Smart move. Though I wonder if they will also relocate the plug to be more inline with Tesla chargers. Adopting NACS is fine and all, but the current location of their plug won't work with Tesla Superchargers since the cable isn't long enough to go from the charger to the left side of the vehicle. Maybe Rivian will be selling an extender cable for the current CCS enabled cars?

The American automaker recently signed an agreement with Tesla to enable access to the latter’s Supercharger Network in the US and Canada. Beginning in spring 2024, current and new R1T or R1S owners will have access to an adapter that will allow charging on the Tesla Supercharger network.

Additionally, Rivian says it will incorporate the NACS charge ports as standard equipment on its R1 vehicles beginning in 2025, and its upcoming R2 platform thereafter. Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe spoke to the new NACS agreement:

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.

Rivian says that although it is offering access to Tesla’s expansive charging network in North America, it will continue to build out its own Adventure Network of chargers. Whether those Rivian piles will eventually support NACS in addition to SAE Combo with CCS remains unclear at this point.

Either way, this is a win for Rivian drivers and further solidifies NACS as the new and true standard for the continent. Per Tesla’s senior director of charging infrastructure, Rebecca Tinucci:

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.

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Rivian climbs aboard NACS train, offers Tesla Supercharger access