EV startup Rivian, which plans to bring an electric pickup to market this year, followed by an SUV in 2022, is targeting the outdoorsy set, and part of that plan is to deploy public chargers at national and state parks around the country.
Now the EV-maker has partnered with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to install Rivian Waypoint charging stations at Tennessee state parks. The goal is to have charging stations available at all 56 state parks, depending on the availability of electricity and planned future park upgrades.
Rivian will oversee the design and installation of the Level 2 chargers, providing any necessary utility upgrades at no cost to taxpayers. Rivian will also cover all network access fees, equipment service and maintenance for 10 years.
The open-network chargers are compatible with all EV models, and can provide up to 11.5 kilowatts of power. Drivers can monitor charging using the Rivian app.
EV charging at Tennessee State Parks will initially be free. According to the Tennessee State Parks agency, “any potential future cost to drivers may be dependent on systemwide utilization to recover electricity costs.”
Rivian will begin site surveys and engineering this summer. Installation is scheduled to begin as early as fall, and to continue into March 2022.
“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 Commissioner David Salyers said. “TDEC is committed to clean air, and the shift toward electric vehicles is an excellent step forward for air quality.”
Earlier this year, TDEC and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced a partnership to develop a statewide EV charging network that will provide fast charging stations every 50 miles along Tennessee’s interstates and highways. The initiative is expected to add around 50 new fast charging sites throughout the state.
Source: Tennessee State Parks