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Georgia Officials Are Expected to Announce This Week That Electric Truck Maker Rivian Will Build its Second EV Factory in the State

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【Summary】State officials in Georgia are expected to announce next week that newly listed electric vehicle startup Rivian will build its second factory in the state in a deal that local officials hope will make the state a leader in the next generation of the automotive industry, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) has learned. Gov. Brian Kemp and executives at Rivian are expected to hold a ceremony this Thursday to outline the details of the high-profile project.

FutureCar Staff    Dec 11, 2021 8:30 AM PT
Georgia Officials Are Expected to Announce This Week That Electric Truck Maker Rivian Will Build its Second EV Factory in the State
This area of woods near Rutledge, Georgia could be the future home of Rivian's second U.S. factory. (Photo Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

State officials in Georgia are expected to announce next week newly listed electric vehicle startup Rivian will build its second factory in the state in a deal that local officials hope will make Georgia a leader in the next generation of the automotive industry, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) has learned.

Gov. Brian Kemp and executives at Rivian are expected to hold a ceremony this Thursday to outline the details of the project, according to two senior officials with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

Both Rivian and Georgia officials have declined to comment publicly on the talks.

The Rivian factory would be the first automotive assembly facility in Georgia since 2006, when Kia Motors announced it would build its plant in West Point near the Alabama border.

Rivian has been in talks to develop a site along Interstate 20 straddling Walton and Morgan counties about an hour's drive east of Atlanta, between the cities of Social Circle and Rutledge, according to people familiar with the matter.

According to the AJC, The factory site includes an area encompassing 1,978 acres marketed as the "East Atlanta Megasite." It's one of the largest available industrial sites in the state, according to state officials. It's also in proximity to rail lines, which can be used to ship materials to and from the factory. 

A local government economic development agency has approached multiple property owners to sell land near the megasite to accommodate the Rivian project, according to five people who spoke to the AJC.

Rivan has been looking  to build a second U.S. manufacturing site to build electric vans, SUVs and trucks where it would employ thousands of workers. The plant would rank as one of Georgia's largest-ever economic development projects.

Rivian is currently building custom-built electric delivery vans for Amazon. The ecommerice giant, which is also an investor in Rivian, ordered 100,000 vans from Rivian.

The project is said to be a multibillion-dollar investment in a factory with an annual output of 200,000 vehicles a year and employ up to 8,000 people at full production by 2030.

The AJC first reported details of the negotiations last month.

2022-Rivian-R1T-1.jpeg

Rivian's R1T electric pickup.

State officials identified Rivian earlier this year as one of its biggest economic development targets and the state of Georgia will likely offer Rivian a long list of incentives to set up manufacturing in the state, which could be valued well into the hundreds of millions of dollars. 

The incentives are likely to include grants, worker training, tax credits and other perks, but details are not clear.

The AJC first reported Georgia's pursuit of Rivian in July. In November, the AJC first reported Rivian was in late-stage negotiations with the state and county leaders east of Atlanta while simultaneously in discussions with other states, including Texas, where Rivian's rival Tesla is building its second U.S. factory outside of Austin.

Rivian needs a second factory to help fulfill the backlog of pre-orders from its vehicles, including the 100,000 vehicle order from Amazon.

In an amended SEC filing last month, Rivian warned that it might not be able to fulfill all of its pre orders until late 2023. In its filing the company wrote, "Based on our current production forecast, we expect to fill our pre-order backlog of approximately 55,400 R1 (R1T, R1S) vehicles by the end of 2023." 

Rivian's factory in Normal, Illinois, a former Mitsubishi Motors plant, is currently equipped to produce a total of 150,000 vehicles annually, distributed between its R1 EV platform, which is used for the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, and the RCV platform, on which Amazon's electric delivery vehicles (EDVs) and other commercial vehicles we be built. 

However, in order to achieve maximum output, Rivian said it would need to run the factory "at its full rate with multiple shifts."

The current annual capacity for the two EV platforms is roughly 65,000 and 85,000 vehicles, according to Rivian. The company said it produced just 104 R1T pickups during the last week of October. The number represents just 8% of its target R1 production rate of 1,310 EVs per day. 

Rivian expects to achieve an annual vehicle production rate of up to 150,000 vehicles by late 2023. Which means that new reservation holders hoping to take delivery of an R1T pickup or R1S SUV pickup by spring 2022 might have to wait up to 18 months longer.  Unless of course, Rivian gets a second factory up and running to meet demand.


resource from: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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