Rivian builds second US plant in Georgia

Rivian has determined the location for its planned second US plant: It will be built east of Atlanta in the state of Georgia and will be able to produce up to 400,000 electric vehicles per year when it is completed. The start of construction is planned for the summer of 2022 and the start of production for 2024.

The facility will be located in Morgan and Walton counties, where a “carbon-conscious campus” is planned, the company says. However, the communication only mentions vehicle production of up to 400,000 units per year. In the summer there were still rumors that Rivian was planning combined vehicle and battery cell production. The latter is not explicitly excluded, but not announced either.

However, the rumors about the location were also wrong. For a long time, the city of Mesa in the state of Arizona was the favorite, and Fort Worth in Texas has also tried to get the Rivian plant.

The company now wants to invest up to five billion dollars (around 4.4 billion euros) in the project in Georgia – not only in buildings and production facilities, but also in site development. Environmental compatibility, own generation of renewable energies and green spaces should also play a role. According to Rivian, the 2,000-hectare site will also include “plenty of natural space.”

Whether and to what extent the company receives subsidies and tax breaks is not clear from the notification. In addition to logistics, the reasons for the location decision were the availability of clean energy and potential employees – Rivian wants to employ up to 7,500 people on site.

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“We’re excited to have Georgians bring their creativity and ideas to Rivian,” said Helen Russell, Rivian’s chief people officer. “We’re confident that Georgia, along with Illinois, is the place for Rivian to continue to grow and thrive.” The facility will produce “our next generation of products,” according to Russell. The manager did not specify what these are – as reported, the company had already secured some naming rights.

Rivian also announces an expansion for the currently only plant in Normal, Illinois. Permission has been granted for a 623,000 square foot expansion, bringing the total area to over four million square feet. That would be an expansion of almost 58,000 square meters to just over 370,000 square meters. The additional areas are to be used for storage and production capacities.

Rivian also confirms the expansion in Illinois in its shareholder report, which was published for the first time after the IPO: The production capacity of the first plant is to be increased from 150,000 to 200,000 vehicles per year. As is well known, the first vehicles of the R1T have been delivered. There are probably 71,000 pre-orders in total, but Rivian is only talking about the R1 here – the R1T e-pickup and the R1S e-SUV are not broken down further.

Rivian does not comment on his planned European plant in the communication on the second US plant. Up for grabs are a UK site south of Bristol and the Netherlands, where Rivian could take over VDL Nedcar’s existing plant. At the moment it seems as if the Netherlands are ahead: The US startup Canoo, which had already placed a contract with VDL Nedcar, announced this week that it would not have its lifestyle vehicle built there. At the beginning of the month, Canoo told the US Securities and Exchange Commission that “due to the developments at VDL Nedcar, it is currently not expected that a definitive framework agreement or agreement for contract manufacturing will be concluded with VDL Nedcar”.
rivian.com (Notice about the work), rivian.com (Shareholder Report als PDF)

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