Rivian reveals location of second US plant
Rivian has decided to build its planned second US plant to the east of Atlanta, in the state of Georgia. Once completed, the plant should be able to produce up to 400,000 electric vehicles per year. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2022 and production is to start in 2024.
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The plant is to be located in Morgan and Walton counties, where the company says there are plans for a “carbon-conscious campus.” In the summer, there were still rumours that Rivian was planning combined vehicle and battery cell production. The latter has not explicitly been ruled out but was not mentioned with the latest announcement of the location of their second plant. That being said, the rumours regarding the location proved to be wrong. For a long time, the city of Mesa in the state of Arizona was considered the likely favourite, and Fort Worth in Texas also made an effort in winning the contract for the Rivian plant.
The company now wants to invest up to five billion dollars (around 4.4 billion euros) in the project in Georgia. These investments will not only flow into buildings and production facilities but also in site development. This apparently means that environmental compatibility, the company’s own renewable energy generation and green spaces are also to play a role. Rivian says that the 2,000-acre site will also include “abundant natural space.”
The site was chosen because of its advantageous logistic position, the availability of clean energy, and the number of available potential employees. Rivian says they plan to employ up to 7,500 people on site. The young and rapidly growing electric vehicle company says that, just like with their plant in Normal, Illinois, they will also develop community engagement and workforce training programs in the new location area.
“We’re happy to partner with Georgia on our new manufacturing site, which will build our next generation of products that are important for scaling our business,” said Rivian Chief People Officer Helen Russell without revealing further product details. In summer just passed, the company secured a number of vehicle names without giving details on what vehicle types these will be. “We’re confident that, alongside Illinois, Georgia is the place for Rivian to continue to scale and thrive,” Russell says.
Rivian has also announced an expansion for its current sole plant in Normal, Illinois. The electric automaker said it had received approval for a 623,000 square-foot expansion, bringing its total space to more than four million square feet. That would be an expansion of nearly 58,000 square feet to just over 370,000 square feet. The additional space would be used for warehouse and manufacturing capacity.
Rivian went public in November and also confirmed the Illinois expansion in its first-ever post-IPO shareholder report (below), saying that production capacity at the first plant would be increased from 150,000 to 200,000 vehicles annually. The first R1T vehicles have already been delivered. In total, there are around 71,000 pre-orders for the R1 alone.
Rivian has not yet revealed more on its planned European plant. In the running is a site in the UK south of Bristol and the Netherlands, where Rivian might be taking over VDL Nedcar’s existing site. This is now looking even fairly certain since these plans appear to have already pushed out US startup Canoo. Canoo had already placed a contract manufacturing facility at VDL Nedcar, but announced this week that it would not have its Lifestyle Vehicle built there after all. This is apparently because Rivian might not only use the Dutch production plant VDL NedCar for its own production but take it over completely.
Update 03 May 2022
Electric car manufacturer Rivian can count on subsidies and tax breaks totalling $1.5 billion (€1.43 billion) for its second US plant in the state of Georgia. The plant, in which Rivian is investing around 5 billion dollars, is expected to employ around 7,500 people and is scheduled to open at the end of 2024. Under the agreement with the state of Georgia, Rivian has until the end of 2028 to reach the 7,500 jobs target and the $5 billion investment target – only then can the company receive the full amount of incentives and tax savings.