Rivian reaffirms GA EV plant commitment as state presses for more

Rivian (RIVN) is still planning to build electric vehicles in Georgia, just not as soon as expected. After delaying construction, Rivian reaffirmed its commitment to an EV manufacturing plant in GA.

After unveiling the R2 last month, a smaller and more affordable electric SUV, Rivian announced it would begin production at its Normal, IL facility rather than its new $5B GA plant.

Rivian said the move would save $2.25 billion as the EV maker works to turn a profit. More importantly, CEO RJ Scaringe said it will help speed up the R2’s launch. Rivian is expected to begin R2 production in the first half of 2026.

However, not everyone is happy about the move. Although Rivian said Georgia remains “an extremely important part of its strategy to scale production of R2 and R3,” the state wants more answers.

On March 22, the Joint Development Authority (JDA) and the State of Georgia sent a letter to Rivian stating several concerns.

The letter stated that “this change in plans will require Rivian to promptly address issues,” like site conditions and safety. According to The Covington News, the letter outlined a “summary of near-term items that need to be addressed expeditiously.” At the end, it asked for “monthly updates” going forward.

Rivian R2 (Source: Rivian)

Rivian reaffirms GA EV plant commitment

A response letter signed by Rivian’s chief policy officer and returned on April 18 reaffirmed the EV maker’s commitment to GA and its new manufacturing plant.

The letter stated, “Rivian further remains committed to complying with all federal and state regulations with respect to environmental matters and is further committed to ongoing coordination with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.”

Although vertical construction is not expected to begin for some time, Hoffman confirmed that Rivian will continue to work to maintain the site.

Site plan for Rivian’s Georgia plant (Source: Clayco)

“Rivian’s overall goal is to use the pause to prepare the Project to go vertical when the pause is lifted,” the company’s response read.

Rivian agreed to provide “continuous communication and transparency” as the project evolves. “Rivian will continue to provide timely updates to our partners and the community during the pause and as we approach start of construction.”

Rivian R2 (Source: Rivian)

Less than 24 hours after launching, Scaringe revealed the R2 generated over 68,000 reservations.

The EV maker officially shut down production in Normal earlier this month as it prepares for upgrades to cut costs and improve efficiency. These improvements are not directly related to R2 but could help with future production.

Scaringe previously said Rivian expects “ideally over a million units of demand across the globe.” He added, “That means we will have at least two plants producing the vehicle.”

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