Electric vehicle (EV) maker Rivian has gained approval to start construction on a new manufacturing plant outside of Atlanta, Georgia, as announced by state officials last week.
Rivian was granted final approval for the project by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDECD) and the Joint Development Authority (JDA) of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties as the agencies announced on Thursday (via WSB-TV). The approval gives Rivian long-term rights to construct an automotive plant in the Stanton Springs industrial area east of Atlanta after the plans were first set in motion in 2021.
“It’s a great day in Georgia as we close and issue the bonds for the Rivian project,” the JDA and GDECD said in the announcement. “Renting the site to Rivian is the next step in delivering this generational opportunity, and Georgians in Jasper, Morgan, Newton, and Walton counties.”
The factory is also expected to manufacture Rivian’s R2 next-generation platform for future vehicles.
The site is located near the I-20 corridor to Atlanta’s east, near the historic Walton County community Social Circle and touching on Morgan County. It will also be Rivian’s second manufacturing plant, following its first factory in Normal, Illinois, which produces the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV.
Rivian gained approval for its Economic Development Agreement (EDA) on the factory earlier this year, though the new approval allows the automaker to officially begin construction. Shortly after Rivian’s initial commitment from Georgia for the Stanton Springs North site in 2021, the state also approved a $43 million EV battery recycling plant nearby.
According to the state’s initial announcement, the Rivian location includes “just under 2,000 acres” at a site previously called the East Atlanta Megasite. The facility is expected to bring as many as 7,500 jobs to the area, and Rivian will invest $5 billion into building the facility, per the report.
Rivian is targeting 2026 for initial production, and the company eventually expects to reach an annual volume production of around 400,000 vehicles.
In addition to building the manufacturing facility, Rivian is expected to accelerate charging station deployment in the area in nearby shopping centers, state parks and near its Ponce City Market showroom. The company’s production facility has also forced Georgia lawmakers to mull over direct sales laws in the state, which currently ban the sales of automobiles that aren’t done through a dealership (Tesla is exempt, though it’s limited to five statewide sales sites, as of last year).
Rivian is also introducing an apprenticeship program in which the company will select local students for a 24-month training, which the company will use to support the Stanton Springs North facility. The Georgia HOPE Grants will provide tuition for the program and Rivian plans to fund additional expenses for the apprenticeship, including textbooks and other learning materials.