Rivian, the electric vehicle startup that brands itself as your partner in adventure, is continuing to make moves in that line. It has partnered with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation TDEC to set up charging facilities at parks under the state’s control.
Under the agreement, Rivian will maintain charging stations in each of Tennessee’s 56 parks. Each of the chargers, called Waypoint Chargers, will be Level 2 and will supply up to 11.5 kW of power. While this may not rapidly charge EVs, it will help drivers who just need to top up their battery level, perhaps preparing for the trip home after a campout.
Drivers of any brand of EV will be able to charge for free at the parks initially, but payments may come later. Charging progress will be monitored through the Rivian app.
The automaker has agreed to carry out the design and installation of the charging stations and provide the required funds. Rivian will also pay for the maintenance and any upgrade of the facilities for ten years. Work will begin this summer with site surveys and construction starting later and be finished by next March.
TDEC has committed to boosting the adoption of EVs in Tennessee by providing infrastructure that will make EVs more attractive. To that end, TDEC partnered with Tennessee Valley Authority this year to build an EV charging network that covers the whole state. The scheme ensures EV owners are never more than 50 miles away from the closest chargers on the interstates and highways.
Governor of Tennessee, Bill Lee, had praises for the agreement: “Tennessee is at the forefront of innovation and infrastructure development, and we’re committed to the future of the automotive industry. This collaboration will support Tennessee jobs and enhance our already unmatched state parks.”
According to David Salyers, TDEC Commissioner: “As Tennesseans increasingly rely on electric vehicles, our state parks can play a significant role to enable recreation in all corners of our state. TDEC is committed to clean air, and the shift toward electric vehicles is an excellent step forward for air quality.” Rivian is an EV startup company that has grown leaps and bounds recently. It has a 100,000 electric van order from Amazon, which is an investor. Rivian is getting ready to start delivery of its R1S SUV and R1T pickup truck.