Rivian, the Amazon-backed electric automaker that aims to be the first to market an electric pickup truck, plans to open a second manufacturing plant in the United States, sources told TechCrunch, confirming an earlier report from Reuters.
Rivian did not specify when he planned to build the plant, but confirmed that he was in the process of identifying a site for a second plant. Reuters reported that the plant, dubbed Project Tera, would also include the production of battery cells, a detail that would increase the cost and size of the plant.
“While at the start of an evolving process, Rivian is exploring locations for a second manufacturing facility in the United States,” spokeswoman Amy Mast said in an emailed statement. “We look forward to working with a supportive and technologically advanced community to create a partnership as strong as the one we have with Normal, Illinois. “
The news comes a week after Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe sent a letter to customers saying the company was pushing back deliveries of its long-awaited R1T electric pickup and multi-month R1S SUV due to production delays caused. by “the cascading impacts of the pandemic”, in particular the current global shortage of semiconductor chips. R1T deliveries will begin in September and the R1S will follow “shortly,” Scaringe wrote in the post.
Rivian plans to assemble its consumer products – the R1T, R1S – as well as the commercial delivery vans planned for Amazon at its plant in Normal, Illinois. This plant, which once produced the Mitsubishi Eclipse as part of a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler Corporation, has been completely modernized and expanded.
The Normal factory has two separate production lines producing vehicles. One is dedicated to R1 vehicles and the other to its commercial vans. Amazon has ordered 100,000 of these vans, with deliveries starting in 2021.
The automaker has raised more than $ 8 billion from a diverse set of funders including Ford, Cox Automotive, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., Fidelity Management and Research Company, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Coatue and D1 Capital Partners. That capital will be needed to run its 7,000 people and to build an assembly plant, a project that will cost at least $ 1 billion if it follows industry estimates.