Rivian Is Building a Second US Assembly Plant

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Quite a few electric vehicle (EV) startups have gained attention recently. They may even have the potential to contend with well-established EV brands such as Tesla.
Nio, an EV startup based in China, has already gained a devoted fanbase and is performing well in its sales numbers. Another startup, Rivian, has plans to build a second assembly plant. The company has also shown a lot of promise, between its high valuation and high-profile backers.
Closeup of a car dashboard on the passenger side with Rivian
Rivian is an up-and-coming EV startup with a lot of potential.

Rivian’s plans for the future

Currently, Rivian only has one assembly plant and it’s located in Normal, Illinois.
The new plant will focus on both battery cell and EV production, which is a costly endeavor. Vehicle assembly plants cost “$1 billion or more, while a battery cell production factory is at least $2 billion,” according to Reuters. The factory is dubbed “Project Tera,” and the full details haven’t been revealed to the public.
You can expect to hear more news about the project in a few months, but the timeline may change again because of the pandemic. The company has already experienced a delay for a planned announcement from the summer.
For now, we only know about the specifications outlined in the documents, which say that it’ll require around 2000 acres of land. The documents also add that the plant will aim to reach net carbon emissions of zero as quickly as it can.

What are the benefits of the second plant?

Rivian will benefit quite a bit from the plant, especially considering that the pandemic delayed the launch of their EVs.
One of the vehicles, the R1T, was scheduled for July but had to be pushed back to September. The R1S was also delayed until this Fall. The new plant will allow the company to increase its production capabilities and limit the risk of delays in the future.
The plant will also allow the company to build battery cells in-house. Currently, Samsung is Rivian’s battery supplier. Not having to go through a third party may speed up production and cut costs.

Why Rivian is a startup to look out for

According to Business Insider, Rivian raised $8 billion since the beginning of 2019. If the company goes public, it’s currently valued at over $50 billion, which is incredibly high for a startup.
This value is well over what Tesla was worth at its initial public offering (IPO) back in 2010. In fact, it’s 35 times the amount. Considering Tesla’s current place in the EV market, it shows that Rivian is a strong contender.
Rivian has well-known backers like Amazon, Ford, and other big names. Amazon partnered with the company back in 2019 and commissioned them to build 100,000 electric versions of their delivery vehicles within the next 10 years. Rivian hadn’t sold any vehicles at that point, so it shows that Amazon believed in the company’s potential from the start.
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