As the race to keep up with electric vehicle demand heats up, manufacturers are expanding rapidly in order to meet anticipated demand. One such company is Rivian, who this week confirmed their plans for a future factory expansion.
Rivian, who has been heavily supported by Amazon, confirmed that they are in the process of identifying a location for a new factory here in the U.S. The plant, dubbed “Project Tera”, would also be capable of battery cell production, increasing its flexibility along with its projected size and cost. Spokesperson Amy Mast, stated that the project is still an “evolving process”, the company is looking forward to “working with a supportive, technology-forward community in order to create a partnership as strong as the one we have with Normal, Illinois.”
Originally, Rivian’s Normal factory was used by Mitsubishi and Chrysler to produce the Mitsubishi Eclipse. Now, the E.V. maker has completely upgraded and expanded the factory to produce their highly anticipated R1T electric pickup trucks and their R1S SUVs. The factory is also set up to produce their electric commercial delivery vans, of which Amazon has placed an order for 100,000, with deliveries planned to begin later this year.
However, the production of the R1T and R1S has hit a snag. CEO RJ Scaringe recently sent out a letter to customers letting them know that the vehicles would need to be delayed once again due to “cascading impacts of the [Covid-19] pandemic”, most notably the semiconductor shortage which has been hammering automakers. As a result, deliveries of the R1T, which were slated to begin in July, have been pushed back to September. Meanwhile, the R1S is left without a specified date, as Scaringe stated in his letter that deliveries for the SUV would follow “shortly.”