Rivian earns back EV incentives, partially

Credit: Rivian

According to an updated list from the U.S. federal government, Rivian vehicles once again partially qualify for EV incentives.

The U.S. federal government issued a blow to many EV makers earlier this week when it announced that it would begin applying new regulations for automakers to earn EV incentives. These “battery-sourcing” requirements cut many automakers, including Rivian, entirely out of the running, but that is slowly starting to change. Today, the list of qualifying vehicles has been updated, and the Rivian R1T and R1S are back, but only partially.

The new battery sourcing requirements are the U.S.’s most stringent EV incentive requirements yet introduced. According to the new rules, 40% of an EV’s battery materials must be sourced from the United States or a country it has signed a free trade agreement with, and to secure 100% of the incentive ($7,500), 50% of the battery components must be produced or assembled in North America as well. This is on top of the requirement that the vehicle be assembled in the United States.

Earlier this week, despite Rivian meeting the domestic assembly requirement, it was removed from the list of qualifying vehicles. Now, according to the updated list, the trucks qualify for half of the incentive, $3,750. This can still be combined with state EV incentives for residents in some parts of the U.S., but that isn’t always the case. It remains unclear which of the two new requirements Rivian is meeting, but the battery components requirement is likely the one it met, considering how much of its battery production is in-house.

There is one catch with Rivian’s qualification. If a customer specs the R1T or R1S above $80,000, which is quite an easy task, it no longer qualifies for any incentives.

This is excellent news for Rivian, which is already struggling with profitability, despite high demand for its vehicles. But with this continuing incentive structure, the path forward is less clear.

Moving into the future, battery sourcing requirements on materials and components will gradually tighten to 100% sourced from the United States, free-trade deal countries, and any country within North America. And while this may be an achievable task for many automakers in the future, including Rivian, it remains unclear if it will be financially viable.

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Rivian earns back EV incentives, partially
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