Remember the days when you could just claim to be an EV startup, raise millions in funding, and then not really make any cars? Darn it, Nikola, you could’ve had it all! Nowadays, however, you’ve got to make good on your promises, build some cars, and repay your investors. Well, at least that’s what Rivian is doing with its R1S and R1T electric SUV and pickup truck. In fact, the Amazon-backed company has been looking to build a second facility to ramp up its truck and battery production capacity since earlier this year.
In a mission dubbed Project Tera, the Michigan-based electric automaker is looking to expand, and according to Reuters, it looks like that might happen in Fort Worth, Texas.
Rivian had originally been rumored to be looking at Arizona. However, last month a fleet of Rivian trucks went to collect Amazon founder Jeff Bezos after his Blue Origin space flight, which happened in Texas. Although the location’s not likely connected, Bezos was in charge of Amazon when the company pumped $700 million into Rivian.
That being said, Rivian won’t be the first big EV name in the Lone Star State. Tesla’s factory in Austin netted it $68 million in subsidies, which is a sweet deal to come to a state where it can’t even sell its own cars. Rivian is likely being wooed by the same potential cash benefits. Reuters says in its report that a secondary source claims that despite the site in Mesa being currently favored, the potential for subsidies elsewhere is “intoxicating.”
If what we know so far about Project Tera is true, then the site would include a battery production factory with a capacity of up to 50-gigawatt hours. The idea seems to be, according to previous reports, that Rivian would be able to position itself to take on GM and Ford in terms of electric pickup production with the secondary site online.
Of course, Rivian hasn’t actually delivered any trucks yet. Although Bezos has had plenty of seat time, delivery of the R1T and R1S seem to have slipped back to later this year. The cars are still configurable on its website but you won’t be getting one for a while.
In a rare moment of reasonable advice, Elon Musk weighed in on the news on Twitter saying that Rivian should get its first plant working before expanding to a second, adding “it’s insanely difficult to reach volume production at affordable unit cost.” He would, to be fair, definitely know.
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