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Rivian Gets $827M to Expand Illinois Plant to Build New Vehicle

by | May 3, 2024

EV maker Rivian received $827 million in new incentives from the State of Illinois to expand its production facility in Normal. The company currently builds all of its vehicles there, but the expansion will allow it increase production levels as well as handle production of its next vehicle, the R2. Will that further impact delay of the Georgia plant?

Rivian robot production line

Rivian received $827 million in incentives from the State of Illinois to expand its plant in Normal, Illinois.

The California-based company builds its R1T and R1S models at the facility as well as the electric delivery vans currently being introduced into Amazon’s massive fleet of trucks. Amazon, which holds an ownership stake Rivian, contracted the company to build 100,000 of the vans.

Rivian’s Normal, Illinois plant can build up to 150,000 vehicles annually, as currently configured. However, it’s adding the R2 SUV to its lineup so the company plans to expand the facility to handle that vehicle. It made the announcement when that vehicle was introduced in March.

Officials believe the new less costly model will push the company’s needs for the plant to 215,000 vehicles annually. Rivian produced 57,232 vehicles in 2023, delivering 50,122 of them.

Paying up to ramp up

Rivian RJ with R2 nose

CEO R.J. Scaringe said the company accelerated the production timeframe for the R2.

“The support from the state will allow us to quickly bring our midsize SUV, R2, to market and provide even greater consumer choice for EVs,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and chief executive officer.

Quickly is the key because until the March introduction of the R2 and its even smaller, less expensive sibling, the R3, the company’s plans call for the new offerings to be produced at a new $5 billion plant in progress just outside Atlanta.

Scaringe through a big curve ball while revealing the newest models, he announced construction of the Georgia plant was on hold and the new model would be built at its existing plant in Normal.

Production at the Normal plant has been slowed during a stagnant period of EV buying in the U.S. so the company elected to reconfigure the plant to handle production of the R2. Scaringe told the media starting production of the R2 in Illinois will save the company more than $2 billion.

The incentive package would add to Rivian’s balance of cash and cash equivalents of $7.86 billion at end of last year, Reuters reported.

More Rivian Stories

Georgia on my mind

“Georgia is incredibly important to us,” Scaringe said in an interview on CNBC after the introduction of the R2 and R3. “The partnership we have with the state is outstanding and for us the most important thing is getting this vehicle into the market as fast as we can and leveraging what we have in Illinois is really enabling that.”

Rivian R2 debut RJ and Greg

Will the additional funds change the timeline for the opening of the new facility in Georgia? Who knows? Rivian didn’t address the plant in its announcement. Rivian officials haven’t responded to two Headlight.New queries at the time of this story’s publication.

However, it does appear to be positioning itself to be ready to resume construction some time in the near term, which helps immensely with the company’s third vehicles looming on the horizon, the R3 and R3X.

More products

Rivian R3X with RJ side

The R3X is a performance-oriented, rally-car styled version of the R3.

Rivian’s “take on a small crossover,” the R3 and R3X are about 180 inches long and features the same drivetrain offerings at the R2. It will also travel more than 300 miles on a full charge.

The R3X is EV maker’s take on an all-electric rally car, and during the reveal it showed footage of the R3X tearing it up on dirt roads and roaring around corners.

R2 and R3 will feature two battery sizes. The larger pack will achieve over 300 miles of range on a single charge and offer 0-60 mph acceleration in under 3 seconds for the quickest powertrain configuration. Without giving actual numbers, Scaringe said the R3 would cost less than the R2. It will also arrive after the R2.

1 Comment

  1. Way to go illinois, give away the taxpayer’s money. No way this works out well.


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