Earlier this month, we reported that deliveries of the Rivian R1T electric pickup would be delayed until September after originally being scheduled to start in July. Rivian has said that the R1T, as well as the related R1S electric SUV, will be built in Rivian‘s factory in Normal, Illinois, when sales finally get underway. According to a report from Reuters, the Amazon-backed startup is already planning a second vehicle assembly plant, with a company document revealing that Rivian will invest $5 billion in the new facility. Rivian is also building electric commercial vans for Amazon.
Although an early document obtained by Reuters did not directly identify Rivian and said the plant would sit on a 2000-acre plot, the revised proposal divulges plans for a plant on a vast 10,000-acre property, which Rivian calls Project Tera, Reuters said. Officials allegedly said that finding a plot of land that big would be a tricky endeavor, and if the factory was built to that size it would be more than eight times larger than BMW‘s 1200-acre plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the German automaker built more than 400,000 SUVs in 2019.
The document also said that Rivian aims to break ground on the factory in the fall of this year, with production beginning at the plant in the second quarter of 2023. Unsurprisingly, Reuters cited sources with knowledge of the proposal as saying the plans are likely pushed back by up to six months due to the pandemic. The factory location has yet to be confirmed, but Reuters’ sources mentioned land near Gold Canyon, east of Mesa, Arizona, and said that Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe has discussed the proposal with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. The company already has a presence in the area, with a small engineering and test center in Wittmann, just north of Phoenix and about an hour’s drive from Mesa. For the full story, check out this article from Car And Driver.