Rivian (RIVN) finds partner to build its massive $5B mega-EV plant

Rivian (RIVN) is taking another big step toward opening its second manufacturing facility. The EV startup revealed it had chosen Clayco as its partner to build the massive $5 billion EV plant.

Rivian taps Clayco as partner to build Georgia EV plant

Clayco, one of the largest full-service design, engineering, and construction firms in the US, announced the news Tuesday.

Rivian currently builds electric vehicles, including the R1T and R1S, at its Normal, IL, plant. With plans to expand, Rivian first announced plans for a second EV plant in Bryan County, GA, in 2021.

Contruction was expected to begin last summer, but legal battles tied to its $1.5 billion incentive package led to delays. The incentive package is the second largest in the state behind Hyundai’s $1.8 billion.

After scoring a massive land agreement last month, Rivian was given the green light to start construction.

Rivian said it would start construction soon as grading work finished up through the end of the year. A company spokesperson said the EV startup would hold an official groundbreaking ceremony in early 2024.

Rivian R1S outside Clayco (Source: Clayco)

With Clayco as its partner, Rivian is ready to begin building its second EV plant. The 1,800-acre complex will be home to Rivian’s R2 vehicles.

Rivian to build cheaper R2 EVs in Georgia

Rivian’s next-gen EVs will be cheaper than its current models. CEO RJ Scaringe said R2 will start at around $40K to $45K. The new model is expected to be unveiled next year.

The R2 will be “a very, very different vehicle architecture” than the R1 but will “still be very much a Rivian,” according to Scaringe.

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

Production is expected to begin next year. Once the first stage is complete, the plant is expected to be able to build 200,000 vehicles a year. By the end of the decade, Rivian aims to double it.

Rivian revealed it had hired Arnhelm Mittelbach as plant manager for the new GA facility last month.

Rivian’s new EV plant visual (Source: Clayco)

Mittelbach joins Rivian with over 20 years of experience at Mercedes-Benz, including managing plants in East London and South Africa. He was also president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Vans in Charleston, SC.

Rivian’s new partner, Clayco, has been selected for several EV projects, including VinFast’s new plant in North Carolina.

Electrek’s Take

Rivian continues expanding, pushing past many rival EV startups. The company beat expectations again, delivering over 15,500 EVs in the third quarter, up 24% from Q2.

After strong results, Rivian raised its 2023 production goal to 54,000. That’s 2,000 higher than its last guidance.

Rivian expects R2 to attract new buyers with a lower starting price. The current Rivian R1S and R1T both start at over $70K. A more affordable model will help expand the brand as new competition hits the market.

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