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Rivian Lands $1.5B Incentive Package For Georgia Megafactory

Rivian's RS1 SUV model, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2018.

Rivian Automotive's plans to build a $5B electric vehicle manufacturing plant and facility outside Atlanta could be funded by a record $1.5B in local and state economic incentives, but the race is on for the company to cash in.

The upstart California-based electric vehicle maker, which has been struggling to ramp up deliveries of new all-electric cars and trucks, announced plans in December to build a $5B, 20M SF assembly plant on 2,000 acres in Stanton Springs, some 50 miles east of Atlanta. The incentive package, announced Tuesday, would be the largest ever granted to a company in Georgia's history. It requires Rivian to complete at least 80% of its investment by 2028 and maintain those investments for an additional 20 years, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports.

Aside from the plant, projected to produce 400,000 vehicles once complete within two years, Rivian has vowed to hire 7,500 employees in Georgia, earning an average wage of $56K per year. If Rivian fails to meet those metrics, it could face clawbacks of its tax incentives, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said that the size of the incentive package is appropriate for the level of investment Rivian plans to make in the state, a deal that will likely cement Georgia as a hub in the electric vehicle industry.

In its incentive package, Rivian will receive more than $700M in local property tax abatements for its site off Interstate 20, nearly $200M from the state's job tax credit program, $175M in machinery and $105M in construction materials tax exemptions and $111M for land and grading of the site, according to the AJC.

As part of the Rivian package, the state has agreed to fund nearly $90M for a Quick Start training center and customized recruitment and training programs, more than $50M for I-20 interchange improvements, $21M in a direct grant and $7.4M for wetland and stream mitigation.

“It's very competitive for excellent projects, and this is an excellent project,” Wilson told the AJC. “The return on this [investment] is the people whose lives are changed.”

The Rivian deal has not been without its critics. Some local residents around the site have protested the deal over concerns about environmental and community impacts from the plant. Former U.S Sen. David Perdue has also used the deal in attacks in his race against Gov. Brian Kemp in the Republican gubernatorial primary, tying the deal to "liberal billionaire George Soros," who has a minority interest in Rivian, the Associated Press reported.

"Kemp gave away the farm to a woke corporation for something the locals don’t even want, and hardworking Georgians are left footing the bill," Perdue said Monday, the AP reported.