It’s been a busy few weeks for upstart EV automaker Rivian, which recently started production of its very first vehicle – the R1T pickup, which has received universally positive reviews thus far. Then, earlier this week, the company released the details of its upcoming IPO, which is aiming for an $80 billion dollar valuation that would raise between $5-$8 billion in additional funds. Now, Rivian has made yet another important announcement – it intends to build its future battery cells in-house, according to Reuters.
Currently, the automaker sources its batteries from Samsung SDI, but noted in its IPO filing that building its own cells would “complement third-party cell procurement which will provide supply continuity and support our anticipated growth.” It’s a strategy that’s quite similar to one employed by Tesla, which intends to build its own batteries while continuing to source others from suppliers, though quite a bit different from Ford’s current plans.
“Given the paramount importance and impact of the battery system on vehicle range, performance, and price, we have built in-house capabilities across the entire value chain,” Rivian said. “Over time, we intend to expand our capabilities related to proprietary cell development and in-house cell manufacturing and expect that these functions will grow substantially in the coming years.”
Rivian will invest $8 billion to boost its manufacturing capacity, charging networks, and battery production through 2023, and is reportedly eyeing locations in Texas and the UK as locations for additional plants.
For now, Ford intends to build its IonBoost batteries at three new plants via its recently announced joint venture with South Korean battery manufacturer SK Innovation, dubbed BlueOvalSK. The joint venture will produce EV batteries at multiple U.S. and European-based plants in the near future.
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