Electric Truck Startup Rivian Applies for Zoning Amendment for a 380 Acre Site Near its Illinois Factory for Future Expansion
【Summary】Electric truck maker Rivian has not yet delivered its first electric vehicle, but the company is already eying expansion at its Normal, Illinois factory as it looks to become the Tesla of trucks.
Electric truck maker Rivian has not yet delivered its first electric vehicle, but the company is already eying expansion at its Normal, Illinois factory as it looks to become the Tesla of trucks.
According to Normal, Illinois city records obtained by the local news outlet The Pantagraph, the electric vehicle startup is seeking to have a 380-acre site adjacent to its current factory rezoned for commercial use, which will allow for manufacturing operations such as vehicle assembly.
On March 8, Rivian applied for a zoning amendment change for the 380 acre site, which is just west of Rivian's factory. The site is currently zoned as agricultural, according to city data.
"We plan to increase our manufacturing output at this facility, and we've already done so over the last year with a lot of our construction," said Rivian spokesperson Zach Dietmeier in a statement. "It really opens us up to think more deeply about our site's evolution over the next few years."
If approved, a zoning and site plan amendment could allow Rivian to develop the land for a maximum 10.6 million-square-foot building, and 1.5 million square feet for logistics and parking. Rivian could also build a maximum 650,000-square-foot building just south of its current 503-acre site, the Pantagraph reports.
Rivan is also looking to build a large partially covered EV charging station adjacent to its current factory, the roof of which will be completely lined with solar panels, according to drawings submitted with Rivian's zoning request.
With the exception of Tesla, Rivian is one of only a few electric vehicle startups that owns a former auto factory. Rivian purchased the shuttered Mitsubishi Motors auto plant in Normal, Illinois in 2016 for $16 million. The site is fairly close to the home of the U.S. auto industry in Detroit, which Rivian will be competing with.
Mitsubishi Motors closed the plant in Normal, Illinois in 2015 and put the factory up for sale after the company decided to cease manufacturing in the U.S. The facility is currently undergoing renovations to become Rivian's electric vehicle manufacturing plant.
Like Rivian, Tesla also purchased a former General Motors assembly plant in Fremont, California which first opened back in 1962. The electric automaker produces all of its U.S.-made vehicles at the California factory.
The state of Illinois is also home to the 5 million-square-foot Stellantis Belvidere Assembly Plant which builds the popular Jeep Cherokee SUV, another vehicle that will compete with Rivian. The plant opened in 1965.
The zoning request from Rivian means that the company is already looking into future expansion, even before releasing its first electric vehicle. Rivian's first two vehicles are the fully-electric R1T electric pickup truck and companion R1S SUV. Both vehicles offer more horsepower and torque than gas-powered trucks.
Rivian is entering into a category that is the most profitable segment for U.S. automakers General Motors and Ford Motor Co. and a big chunk of their annual profits.
However, GM and Ford are not sitting back and letting companies like Rivian and Tesla move into the highly profitable truck segment unchallenged. GM will reveal the much hyped Hummer EV in early April, its first fully-electric truck. GM resurrected the Hummer brand as an electric-only brand under its GMC Truck division. Ford also has an electric F-150 in the works.
Rivian, founded in 2009, is one of the most talked about EV startups since Tesla launched the Model S in 2012. The company is backed by e-commerce giant Amazon and U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. Ford invested $500 million in Rivian in 2018.
Amazon invested in Rivian through its new $2 billion venture capital fund that invests in companies developing "sustainable and decarbonizing technologies", which is exactly the type of company Rivian is.
E-commerce giant Amazon also ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian that it will add to its delivery fleet over the next several years. The electric delivery being built by Rivian are designed to meet the specific needs of Amazon and the first vehicles are already on the roads in Southern California delivering packages.
Rivian secured another $2.65 billion in funding in January. To date, the company raised a total of $8 billion.
The Biden Administration Asks Automakers to Back its Pledge of 40% of New Car Sales Being Electric by 2030
The Founder & Former CEO of Fuel Cell Truck Startup Nikola Corp Indicted for Misleading Investors
Electric-Only Ride-Hailing Startup Revel Gets Approval to Deploy its Fleet of Tesla Model Ys in New York City on Aug 2
General Motors Issues Recall for 69,000 Chevy Bolt EVs Due to Battery Fire Risk
Toyota Debuts its New Driver Companion & AI Virtual Assistant That's Powered By Google Cloud
Volvo Cars to Take Full Control of its Chinese Business From Automaker Geely as it Explores a Possible IPO
FAW-Volkswagen Begins Deliveries of the Electric ID.6 CROZZ SUV in China
Electric Truck Maker Rivian Delays Deliveries of the R1T Pickup Until September
- Tesla Chief Elon Musk Says 'Red Tape' is Causing Delays in Completing its Berlin Gigafactory
- NVIDIA to Acquire DeepMap, a Silicon Valley Startup Building HD Maps for Self-Driving Vehicles
- Electric Vehicle Brand Polestar to build its New SUV in the U.S.
- The Biden Administration Asks Automakers to Back its Pledge of 40% of New Car Sales Being Electric by 2030
- BMW Releases Pricing, Specs for 2022 i4 and iX EVs
- Ford is Boosting its EV Investments to More Than $30 Billion, Stock Reaches 5-Year High
- Solar-Electric Car Startup Sono Motors to Use a Connected Vehicle Software Platform From Silicon Valley-based Sibros
- Tesla Agrees to Pay Model S Owners $1.5 Million For Reducing Battery Power in Their Vehicles
- Senators Introduce SAFE Act That Could Mandate Driver-Monitoring Systems
- Tesla Model 3 Tops Chart as Most American-Made Car