Rivian has confirmed that it is currently exploring locations for a second manufacturing facility within the United States. It would follow the company’s first facility located in Normal, Illinois.
According to a report from Reuters, several U.S. states have bid for the plant, which is being called “Project Tera,” according to documents. According to sources who wished to remain anonymous, the plant will be announced within the next several months and will break ground early next year. The company planned to announce the project this Summer, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed it. The sources said that this could once again delay the announcement to later in the year.
Rivian spokesperson Amy Mast said, “While it’s early in an evolving process, Rivian is exploring locations for a second U.S. manufacturing facility. We look forward to working with a supportive, technology-forward community in order to create a partnership as strong as the one we have with Normal.”
The project will require 2,000 acres of land, and a proposal submittal says that the site would seek to be net-zero carbon emissions as soon as possible.
It isn’t expected to just be a facility that will pump out Rivian’s all-electric vehicles, either. Documents also state that the plant will include a 50 gigawatt-hour battery cell production facility that will be built in phases. Additionally, there will be a project and technology center, the documents revealed.
Rivian is still working on completing the first deliveries of its R1T pickup truck, the company’s first vehicle. Deliveries were slated to begin earlier this month, but CEO RJ Scaringe emailed all reservation holders indicating that the cars wouldn’t be delivered this month. Instead, September is the new slotted date for Rivian’s first deliveries.
More electric car companies are coming to the limelight as the automotive industry has transitioned to electrification. Rivian is seemingly already preparing for a massive shift in what consumers are buying for vehicles, whether personal or professional use. Although the market share of electric vehicles in the United States is just 2%, that number is expected to grow exponentially over the next several years as more companies are focused on transitioning their entire vehicle lineups to electric powertrains.
Rivian is backed by Amazon, Ford, and T. Rowe Price, among others, and will seek a valuation of over $50 billion if it decides to go public later this year, a source also said.