Georgia Just Saved Rivian $1.5 Billion

Rivian plans to spend $5 billion on a new facility headed to Georgia. The Peach State’s government wants to make the goal a little easier.
Written by Andrew Koole
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Rivian needs to expand. The
electric vehicle
startup’s R1T and R1S are already being produced in Normal, Illinois. But in order to keep up with competing brands like Tesla and GM, Rivian needs a new facility with a lot more capacity.
Not a company to be outpaced, plans are already underway for such a facility in Georgia, where Rivan was courted with tax incentives worth $1.5 billion. 
Georgia isn’t walking away empty-handed, though. By the time the EV plant is fully operational, Rivian says it will create 7,500 jobs in the state.
, your car ownership
super app
, has more on the details of the deal.

Georgia’s $1.5 billion tax break is a much-needed relief for Rivian

Business is tough for EV startups right now. New pressure from shareholders, coupled by sky-high commodity prices and a crippling chip shortage, has these newcomers like Rivian sweating bullets. 
With the funds raised from its independently acquired I.P.O. and support from Amazon and
, Rivian might be better equipped to weather the storm than rivals like Lordstown and Canoo. 
But without the production capacity and relationships with suppliers enjoyed by legacy brands, the Irvine, California-based EV builder still has its work cut out for it. To survive the industry’s current climate, Rivian knows it needs to scale production. 
says the plant headed to Social Circle, Georgia will help the company do just that. At full capacity, it will pump out 400,000 EVs every year. The massive tax break from the state government will put a nice dent in the $5 billion projected cost for the project.
MORE: Rivian Crushed Expectations in Its First Day on the Stock Market
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Not all Georgians want Rivian’s factory and jobs

Despite the benefits they could bring, Rivian’s plans aren’t welcome by everyone. The deal with
has invoked criticism from the left and right, with Democrats and Republicans voicing concerns over the giant autoplant’s potential impact on the local environment.
New York Times
says the proposed site for Rivian’s factory consists mostly of undeveloped hunting grounds and sits on an acquifer that the local community relies on for drinking water.
Some Georgians also disapprove of the incentives offered by Governor Brian Kemp, a rallying cry adopted by Kemp’s Republican challenger, former Senator David Perdue. 
Perdue has gone so far as to paint Rivian as a special interest of the Left, pointing to prominent Democratic donor George Soros’ $2 billion stake in the new automaker.

Despite opposition, little stands in the company’s way

Local officials and Rivian reps have done a lot of public engagement to quell fears of its impact on Social Circle and its surrounding community, but at the end of the day, the EV maker has little to worry about. 
With Governor Kemp’s budget approved as of April, the only thing in Rivian’s way is its ability to pay to build its second plant. The company plans to break ground this summer and have the facility up and running in 2024.
The increased production will help Rivian lower its prices, which remain high for both models. Starting prices for the R1T and R1S both hover around the $75,000 marker.

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MORE: Can Rivian Weather the Chip Shortage?
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