Rivian lays off around 20 battery cell development workers

(Credit: Rivian)

Rivian is laying off some of its in-house battery workers at its factory in Normal, Illinois, including the company’s head of cell engineering.

Earlier this week, a report from The Information revealed that Rivian is laying off roughly 20 workers on its in-house battery cell development team at the Illinois factory. The in-house battery development unit, including head cell engineer Victor Prajapati, who later posted about the layoffs on LinkedIn.

“Thanks to the Rivian team, the last three years has been quite the journey, filled with talented , passionate people from a wide variety of backgrounds,” Prajapati writes. “The adventure was nothing short of amazing, surrounded by dreams and ambition. Thanks for creating all of the memories, inspiring collaborations, I am excited for the continued success of the company and brand.”

“Reflecting on next steps to meaningfully contribute to the future of sustainability, looking forward to sharing more on this soon,” Prajapati added.

Prajapati was hired by Rivian in 2020 after working as the senior manager of cell manufacturing engineering at Tesla. He was known for developing the cell manufacturing arm at Tesla, and his role at Rivian was expected to be similar.

Despite the layoffs, Rivian reportedly still plans to work with Korean battery supplier and partner Samsung for its battery packs, though the layoffs effectively place a pause on its in-house development plans. In addition, one Rivian spokesperson has said that the automaker plans to focus on the development of its upcoming generation of electric vehicles (EVs), set to be unveiled next year and begin deliveries in 2026.

Currently, Rivian offers the R1T electric pickup and the R1S electric SUV, both manufactured at the Illinois factory.

The news also comes just under a month after Rivian was approved to construct a $5 billion plant in Georgia for its second-generation R2 line.

Updated 12/11/23: Corrected Georgia Rivian plant cost to $5 billion after incorrectly writing $5 million.

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Rivian lays off around 20 battery cell development workers
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