A new factory is coming here in America.
Electric truck maker Rivian will reportedly announced its plans today to build a $5 billion battery plant east of Atlanta, the Associated Press reports. The plant could eventually employ 7,500 workers, according to sources. That's a bit of good news as the company and one of its main rivals, Tesla, head to court to settle a trade secret dispute.
The move will be the largest industrial announcement in Georgia history, topping the Kia complex that now has 4,400 workers. The Irvine, California-based company turned down an offer from Texas, including a $440 million incentive package, as well as options in Michigan and Arizona.
The plan for the plant is to build 200,000 vehicles per year, with workers paid at least $56,000 a year, according to Rivian. And those workers are the most important thing about the process. CEO RJ Scaringe told Bloomberg as much during a November interview.
Rivian will get a tax break, though it won't be as big as Texas. The state of Georgia has a "mega project tax credit" for companies that invest at least $450 million or hire more than 1,800 people. According to the Associated Press Rivian could get $118 million from the state. AP also notes that local governments could also waive other property taxes.
Rivian currently builds two electric cars, the R1T electric pickup truck and the R1S electric SUV. The R1T, which we drove a few months ago, impressed us from every angle including power, comfort and off-road ability. Those cars are currently on their way to non-Rivian customers. The first batch was delivered to employees over the past few months. The R1S might take a little longer.
The company seems to be in good shape with investments from Amazon and others. It's two products are among the most profitable in the market. However, some say the move might have come too soon.
"It seems like it might be a little premature to invest that much in another large plant just yet," said Sam Abuelsamid, principle mobility analyst for Guidehouse Insights. "If actual deliveries don't start picking up, the markets could turn against them as they have with some other EV companies not named Tesla."