Rivian delays plans to build $5 billion EV plant at Stanton Springs North

From The Walton Tribune

Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian will delay plans to build a $5 billion EV plant east of Atlanta, the company announced Thursday.

Instead, Rivian initially will begin building its new R2 midsize SUV model at its plant in Normal, Ill.

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

Rivian announced plans to build the $5 billion plant in Georgia in December 2021 amid much fanfare. It was the largest economic development project ever to come to the Peach State at the time, although it was surpassed five months later by an announcement that Hyundai would build a $5.5 billion EV plant west of Savannah.

In exchange for creating 7,500 jobs, state and local economic development agencies offered Rivian $1.5 billion in incentives including tax credits, a 25-year no-cost lease, and $198.1 million in site and road improvements on 1,978 acres.

Thus far, Rivian has made two payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) to the Joint Development Authority (JDA) of Jasper, Morgan, Newton, and Walton Counties on the property totaling $3 million, the most recent on March 1. 

The economic development agreement with Rivian requires that it meets 80% of its $5 billion investment commitment and 7,500 jobs commitments, and maintain those commitments by Dec. 31, 2030, through 2049. Rivian has committed to maintaining those timelines. 

“Rivian has restated its commitment to Georgia, and the state and JDA are in steady communication with Rivian regarding its manufacturing plans at Stanton Springs North,” the state Department of Economic Development and JDA wrote in a joint statement.

Rivian estimated that shifting production of the R2 to Illinois from Georgia will save the company more than $2.25 billion. The savings are expected to come from capital expenditures, product development investment, and supplier sourcing opportunities.

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