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Rivian considers Texas, Arizona for $5B electric vehicle plant

Factory could produce up to 200,000 vehicles a year, create up to 7,500 jobs by 2027

Rivian, founded in 2009, aims to produce electric sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, as well as commercial cargo vans for Amazon. (Photo: Rivian)

Automaker Rivian is eyeing locations in Texas and Arizona, among others, as possible sites for its second electric vehicle factory.

The Irvine, California-based manufacturer is in talks with officials in Fort Worth, Texas, and Mesa, Arizona, about building a $5 billion auto factory — dubbed Project Tera — aimed at producing up to 200,000 vehicles a year.

Jim Chen, Rivian’s vice president of public policy, said in an email to FreightWaves that the company is talking with several locations for its second plant.

“Rivian is in discussions with multiple locations as part of a competitive process for siting a second manufacturing facility. This may include Rivian being involved in certain public-facing processes at potential locations. Involvement in these processes does not indicate a final decision,” Chen said.

Robert Sturns, Fort Worth’s economic development director, presented Rivian’s proposal to the City Council on Tuesday. The presentation included a development summary of the Rivian factory’s possible impact in Fort Worth, including:

  • Minimum of $5 billion in real estate investment.
  • 12 million-square-foot manufacturing facility.
  • 1,875 new jobs by 2025 and 7,500 new jobs by 2027.
  • Average wages of $56,000 a year.
  • More than $400 million in incentives for the factory from the city

“Our team is thrilled that Fort Worth is under consideration for this project,” Sturns told FreightWaves. “The final decision timeframe has not been announced, so I cannot share much more than what was outlined in the presentation, while we are still in negotiation. However, I can say that it is very exciting and an amazing opportunity for our city.”

Rivian, which has backing from Amazon and Ford Motor Co., currently has a factory in Normal, Illinois.

Reuters reported on July 27 that Rivian was reportedly discussing with Arizona officials a location east of Mesa for the second factory.

The plant in Arizona also calls for an investment of $5 billion but could require up to 10,000 acres of land near Gold Canyon, 26 miles from Mesa, according to an economic development document seen by Reuters

Rivian, founded in 2009, aims to produce electric sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, as well as commercial cargo vans for Amazon.

Amazon ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian last year and has begun using some of them in parts of California, according to Amazon.

Rivian also recently announced a $2.5 billion round of funding led by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, D1 Capital Partners and Ford.

“As we near the start of vehicle production, it’s vital that we keep looking forward and pushing through to Rivian’s next phase of growth. This infusion of funds from trusted partners allows Rivian to scale new vehicle programs, expand our domestic facility footprint, and fuel international product rollout,” Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement announcing the latest funding round.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]