Keeping it in-house: Midwest EV manufacturer to develop its own charging network

Rivian is hiring talent who previously worked at a top EV competitor

Today’s headlines:

⛽ EV CHARGING: Plymouth, Michigan-based electric truck manufacturer Rivian has been hiring senior managers — some of them former Tesla employees — to help build its own EV-charging network rather than relying on third-party charging networks, electrek reports. Rivian is dubbing the project the “Rivian Adventure Network” and the company will first target national parks, off-roading pit stops, and RV parks for charging locations.

  • Rivian’s strategy mirrors Tesla’s, which involves building its own Supercharger network. Most auto manufacturers rely on third-party charging solutions.
  • Developing a charging infrastructure in-house allows a manufacturer to have more control over its technology, component compatibility, and future improvements or changes.
  • Most people charge their EVs at home. By targeting more remote “adventure” destinations, Rivian removes some of the infrastructure barriers that prevent consumers from traveling to areas where charging infrastructure is sparse and gas or diesel powered vehicles are the primary transportation option. It also could encourage consumers in non-urban areas to consider EV purchases.

🏃 ACCELERATOR: Maryland-based startup accelerator Pax Momentum is expanding into Indianapolis this fall, reports Inside INdiana Business. Applications for the inaugural cohort of 10 businesses are due June 15.

🔬 RESEARCH: Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discovered a way to advance optical spectroscopy, the study of how matter interacts with the electromagnetic spectrum, to better examine and identify materials at the nanoscale. The discovery, published in Nature Communications, has the potential to impact many scientific and engineering applications, including the inspection of semiconductor wafers that are used to make solar cells.

🌱 AGRICULTURE: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says the pandemic has intensified the need for agriculture innovation, with a focus on data-driven decision making and environmental sustainability. He suggested the USDA would need to invest in research for private sector ideas, according to Federal News Network.

📆 DEADLINE: Today is the deadline for agricultural technology startups to apply to pitch at the OnRamp Agriculture Conference. The agriculture innovation conference is presented by gener8torThe Combine, and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and it will be held virtually on July 9.

💻 WEBINAR: Representatives from the Department of Energy will hold a webinar on Thursday to detail the latest Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs (LEEP), which offer early-stage entrepreneurs the opportunity to work with national laboratories to take ideas from the lab to commercialization. John A. Carlisle, director of Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, will be one of the speakers. Webinar registration is available online.

Do you know of Midwest businesses or organizations developing technology that improves the environment? Send news tips, press releases, and feedback to or connect on Twitter @centereddottech.

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