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Electric Carmaker Rivian Nearing Major Deal For Atlanta-Area Plant After Nationwide Search

A worker inspecting a Rivian R1T door panel at a manufacturing plant.

Electric carmaker Rivian is nearing a deal for a manufacturing and battery plant east of Atlanta after a nationwide search, potentially giving Georgia one of its biggest economic development deals in a decade, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Rivian’s facility would sit along Interstate 20, although sources didn't disclose to the AJC the exact location or investment amount. The California-based carmaker operates an Illinois facility and launched its initial public offering last week.

The company, backed by investors including Amazon and Ford, produces electric trucks in competition with Tesla and other electric automakers. The company is under contract with Amazon to build 100,000 electric vans by 2030 and claims it has more than 55,000 preorders for its pickup truck and SUV, CNBC reported.

Rivian previously was in discussions for a $5B plant near Fort Worth, Texas, Reuters reported in August, while it also mulled Michigan and Arizona, The Detroit News reported.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp organized a task force in an attempt to lure more electric vehicle manufacturers, and South Korean battery manufacturer SK Innovation is already building a $2.6B factory in Commerce, Georgia, an approximately 69-mile drive northeast of the metro.

Georgia had previously pitched a massive industrial site for an automotive manufacturer in the coastal city of Savannah, and the AJC said it was unclear why Rivian may have decided against the site. 

Rivian is slowly producing its R1T pickup truck, which touts a range of 314 miles and starts at $67,500. The company as of last month was producing an average of fewer than two trucks a day, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing reported by Inside EVs.

The carmaker announced plans earlier this year to open 10 showrooms in 2021, and its dealerships are unconventional, with its Venice, California, location at the former home of author Ray Bradbury.

The Los Angeles-area dealership, with an electric substation, will host workshops and special events, a spokeswoman told Dot.LA. Another Laguna Beach, California, location will be in a restored theater, which will eventually feature educational speakers, live performances and film screenings.

"We embrace the idea of adaptive reuse with our spaces,” Rivian spokeswoman Rachel Maniago told Dot.LA. “Taking places that exist and bringing them to life in new, inventive ways."

Related Topics: Tesla, electric cars, Rivian