While some other upstart EV automakers have faltered of late – see Nikola and Lordstown Motors – Ford-backed Rivian appears to be on track to launch its first model – the R1T pickup – this September following a couple of supply chain-related delays. That’s around the same time the automaker also reportedly plans to go public with an IPO valued at around $70 billion. And now, with demand high and production severely limited for the next couple of years, Reuters is reporting that Rivian is also planning on building a second U.S.-based assembly plant for vehicles and battery cells.
“While it’s early in an evolving process, Rivian is exploring locations for a second U.S. manufacturing facility,” company spokeswoman Amy Mast told Reuters. “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 [Illinois].”
The automaker reportedly has bids from multiple states vying for the new plant, which is officially being called “Project Tera.” Sources say that Rivian plans on choosing a physical location for the plant in the next two months or so, and wants to break ground as soon as early 2022. However, complications stemming from the pandemic could delay these plans and actually already have, as the automaker originally planned to select a location by this summer.
The new plant will reportedly include 50 GWh of battery cell production and a product and technology center. Rivian is seeking a 2,000-acre plot of land to build the site on, and plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions at the plant “as soon as possible.”
In addition to launching the R1T and R1S SUV this coming fall, Rivian also has an order for 100,000 EV delivery vans from retail giant Amazon. Prototypes of those vans have been out testing around California for some time now as the retailer aims to eventually replace its entire ICE-powered fleet with the electric vans.