Rivian – the next domino click for the Tesla standard

A few weeks ago, Ford and Tesla announced Ford’s plans to start using Tesla-type charging ports on its newly manufactured vehicles (blog article).  Shortly thereafter, General Motors and Tesla made a similar announcement.  This prompted me to predict a series of domino clicks as other car makers announce similar plans.  And indeed we now have another domino click — Rivian. 

Last year, Rivian (all of whose vehicles are electric) delivered about 20,000 vehicles to customers.  In the first quarter of 2023, Ford sold about 10,000 electric vehicles.  In the same quarter, General Motors sold about 20,000 electric vehicles.  In the same quarter, Tesla sold about 160,000 vehicles (all of which are electric).

It is interesting to try to guess who will be the next domino click.  The next few car makers selling significant numbers of EVs in the US include Toyota, BMW, Honda, and Nissan.

For an owner of a Tesla car, a first concern is that most of the vehicles that are now in service, that are made by non-Tesla car makers, have charging ports that are “in the wrong place” for use of a Tesla charging station.  There have been plenty of news reports of drivers of non-Tesla vehicles finding that the only way they can get their vehicle connected for charging (at a Tesla charging station) is by parking in a way that takes up more than one parking spot.  One hopes that eventually the owners of such vehicles that have charging ports that are “in the wrong place” will procure and use extension cords that permit the vehicle to be parked for charging in a way that does not take up more than one parking spot.

Ford, GM and Rivian have each made clear that they will eventually make their vehicles with the charging port “in the right place” for use of a Tesla charging station.  This means the left rear corner of the car.  And the charging port will be a Tesla-style port (“NACS”).

For an owner of a Tesla car, a second concern is that the charging stations will get congested.  Maybe the Tesla car owner might arrive at a charging station and have to wait in line, with non-Tesla vehicles occupying some of the charging positions.  My feeling about this is that the Tesla company has, in the past, been very good about building new charging stations as needed, and adding to the size of existing charging stations as needed.  I figure that the charging revenue from owners of non-Tesla vehicles will help the Tesla company justify further expansion of its charging network, and that this will benefit me and all other owners of Tesla cars.

(See Canonical list of domino clicks for adoption of Tesla charging plugs.)


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