Rivian Banking on Solar Energy To Power Its EV Chargers

Rivian Banking on Solar Energy To Power Its EV Chargers

Electric truck and SUV manufacturer Rivian has entered an agreement with solar energy company Clearloop to finance a Tennessee solar facility that will help power its EV chargers in the region. Axios first reported the news Thursday.

The Irvine-based automaker provided upfront financing for one megawatt of renewable electricity at the Paris Solar Farm in Puryear, Tenn., about 100 miles west of Nashville. The solar farm broke ground on Tuesday; once completed, it will produce 6.75 megawatts of energy annually.

Rivian’s one megawatt investment will power its Rivian Waypoint chargers located in Tennessee state parks, among "other clean energy commitments in the region," it said in a press release. Power production startup Silicon Ranch, which acquired Clearloop last year, will build the solar farm. Tennessee utility Paris BPU, a partner in the Puryear solar farm, will oversee operations.

The partnership comes as Rivian has struggled to meet production targets, while CEO RJ Scaringe recently predicted a major electric vehicle battery shortage in the coming years. Rivian is also facing pushback on recent expansion plans after its $5 billion factory in Georgia was approved despite backlash from local communities. In recent months, the company has faced shareholder lawsuits over price increases to its vehicles and seen its stock tumble in the wake of its initial public offering last November.

Rivian joins a growing number of Southern California-based startups investing in solar power. Long Beach-based rocket maker Rocket Lab acquired New Mexico-based solar panel company SolAero last year, while Santa Monica-based B2U Storage Solutions plans to transform depleted electric vehicle batteries into solar power storage. In January, San Diego-based electric vehicle charging startup ChargeNet raised funds to bring solar-powered EV charging stations to fast-food parking lots.

Yet curbing enthusiasm about the alternative energy source is the Biden administration’s investigation into whether China circumvented tariffs on solar equipment imports to the U.S.—a probe that could hinder the domestic solar industry's ability to build projects.

🤠Musk Picks Texas and 🔥Tinder AI Picks Your Profile Pictures
Image Source: Tinder

🔦 Spotlight

Tinder is altering dating profile creation with its new AI-powered Photo Selector feature, designed to help users choose their most appealing dating profile pictures. This innovative tool employs facial recognition technology to curate a set of up to 10 photos from the user's device, streamlining the often time-consuming process of profile setup. To use the feature, users simply take a selfie within the Tinder app and grant access to their camera roll. The AI then analyzes the photos based on factors like lighting and composition, drawing from Tinder's research on what makes an effective profile picture.

The selection process occurs entirely on the user's device, ensuring privacy and data security. Tinder doesn't collect or store any biometric data or photos beyond those chosen for the profile, and the facial recognition data is deleted once the user exits the feature. This new tool addresses a common pain point for users, as Tinder's research shows that young singles typically spend about 25 to 33 minutes selecting a profile picture. By automating this process, Tinder aims to reduce profile creation time and allow users to focus more on making meaningful connections.

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CrowdStrike CEO Says He Regrets Not Firing People Quicker
Ben Bergman/dot.LA

George Kurtz, co-founder and CEO of the cloud-native endpoint security platform CrowdStrike, says executives should be obsessed with culture. Everyone below him must be fanatical about customer success and outcome and if they aren't fitting in, they need to go quickly. It's one of the biggest lessons he's learned as CEO.

"Not one time have I regretted firing someone too fast," Kurtz told a lunchtime crowd at the first day of the Montgomery Summit in Santa Monica. "It's that I waited too long."

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Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.