Rivian R1 e-SUV assembly, Normal, Illinois.

Rivian Gets Expansion Funds from Illinois

May 3, 2024
The EV builder is drawing $827 million from the state to expand its assembly plant for production of its new midsized e-SUV.

Electric vehicle builder Rivian Automotive will use an $827-million incentive package to expand its Normal, Ill., EV assembly plant as it moves toward production of its R2 midsized e-SUV. The incentive package from the Illinois Dept. of Commerce & Economic Opportunity also will fund public infrastructure improvements and job-training programs.

Currently, the Normal plant produces the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV. It also produces a line of electric light-commercial vehicles, including Amazon delivery trucks. In March, Rivian halted a $5-billion project to build a new plant in Georgia, where the new SUV was to be built at an initial rate of 200,000 units per year.

“Rivian’s Georgia plant remains an extremely important part of its strategy to scale production of R2 and R3. The timing for resuming construction is expected to be later to focus its teams on the capital-efficient launch of R2 in Normal, Illinois,” the automaker stated earlier.

Rivian has not detailed the scope or for its expansion at Normal, where to date the it has invested $3 billion. Reportedly, the plant rated for 150,000 vehicles/year will have a new capacity of 215,000 vehicles/year following the expansion.

According to Rivian founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe, "The support from the state (of Illinois) will allow us to quickly bring our midsize SUV, R2, to market and provide even greater consumer choice for EVs."

The R2 will be Rivian’s midsize electric SUV based on a new midsize vehicle platform that consolidates parts, including for example high-pressure diecastings, a structural battery unit, and closure systems that reduce complexity.

That new platform also will be the basis of the next Rivian model, the R3 midsize crossover vehicle, and its “performance variant” the R3X. Both the R2 and R3 models also adopt Rivian’s drive unit platform and internally developed network architecture, computer topology, and software stack.  

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