After years of buildup, one of Tesla’s fiercest competitors outside of Detroit’s Big Three, Rivian, finally started production of the pure-electric R1T pickup truck in September, commencing deliveries shortly thereafter.
Yet already, Rivian is getting set to announce a second US plant for battery production and vehicle assembly, The Detroit News reports. The plant will be located in Georgia, and a formal announcement is expected on Thursday, December 16th, according to Detroit News sources.
Currently, Rivian assembles the R1T pickup truck at a facility in Normal, Illinois, where it also plans to start production of the related R1S SUV, and to build 100,000 battery-electric delivery vans for its largest investor: online retail giant Amazon. It’s unclear whether the second factory would only serve to add additional production capacity to the company’s existing products, or whether it would instead start churning out future products.
After all, it’s worth remembering that Rivian intends to launch six new vehicles by 2025, and while CEO RJ Scaringe’s original plans for an R1T/R1S follow-up – a “rally-raid style performance car” – have officially been shelved, that still leaves plenty of other yet-unannounced products without a home.
What’s more uncertain is whether this soon-to-be-announced Rivian assembly plant is the same one that was alluded to in recent reports pertaining to a future battery plant. Those reports held that Arizona, Michigan, and Texas were the frontrunner states being considered for the plant location, so it appears likely that this is a separate plant. But then, how many plants does the fledgling electric vehicle manufacturer need?
Regardless, any news is good news for the newcomer EV manufacturer, which just went public last month after more than a decade of private funding. Today, the company has a market capitalization north of $100 billion – more than big-time Rivian investor Ford Motor Company – despite having produced just several hundred vehicles through the end of October, most of which were delivered to Rivian employees.