Rivian last week confirmed plans for a second factory just days after confirming delivery delays for its R1T electric pickup truck and R1S electric SUV.
The important piece of news was contained in an announcement of a $2.5 billion funding round, with previous Rivian investors Amazon and Ford contributing.
“This infusion of funds from trusted partners allows Rivian to scale new vehicle programs, expand our domestic facility footprint, and fuel international product rollout,” CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement.
The brief mention did not include a timeline, or an indication of whether Rivian would build a new factory or repurpose an existing facility, as it did with its current Normal, Illinois, factory, which previously belonged to Mitsubishi.
Rivian factory screenshot
One day prior to the announcement, Reuters reported that factory will break ground early next year, and that multiple U.S. states are bidding for it. That report cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter, who noted that timing could change due to the coronavirus pandemic. The factory is codenamed “Project Tera” in documents, the report said.
Rivian recently confirmed delays that will see the first R1T deliveries in September, rather than June, as previously stated, followed shortly by the first R1S deliveries. Rivian previously delayed deliveries by about six months due to the effects of the pandemic.
The R1T and R1S were unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, and Rivian has been teasing pre-production versions of the R1T since last summer. It began accepting pre-orders last November.
The company has delivered some vehicles, though. Although the R1T will be the first Rivian models delivered to individual customers, Rivian started delivering its first Amazon delivery trucks earlier this year. In addition to investing in Rivian, Amazon plans to buy 100,000 of these specially-designed vehicles.