Rivian is targeting Texas for second electric truck factory

The electric vehicle maker Rivian is reportedly focusing on Texas—and the Fort Worth area—for its second electric vehicle factory, codenamed Project Tera. 

According to Bloomberg, citing documents it obtained as part of an economic presentation made Tuesday, the Rivian factory might potentially create 7,500 jobs by 2027 and would be able to make 200,000 vehicles per year. 

The second factory was confirmed last month by Rivian, within an announcement of a new $2.5 billion round of funding, with Amazon and Ford again contributing. 

Fort Worth confirmed to Bloomberg that it is a finalist in the process. While the company hasn’t made a final decision, the Fort Worth site is the front-runner among many others, including Arizona.

It’s yet unclear what Rivian would build at the new factory. However, if response is strong to the R1T electric pickup and R1S electric SUV that arrive very soon, the company could be challenged to find the space for additional products. It’s already committed to a third model, the Rivian electric van—called RCV—that the company is already delivering to Amazon.

Rivian Amazon electric delivery truck

Rivian Amazon electric delivery truck

Rivian wouldn’t be the only automaker to set up shop in Texas. Tesla is in the final stages of readying its Austin factory—nicknamed Giga Texas—for production of both vehicles and battery cells. That facility will make the Cybertruck, the Semi, and Model 3 and Model Y vehicles for the Eastern half of North America. 

GM also has a large factory in Arlington, Texas—between Fort Worth and Dallas—that makes large, body-on-frame SUVs, including the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade.

Would a new Rivian factory in Fort Worth be a union plant? As President Biden places an emphasis on U.S.-made and union-made for electric vehicles, it’s not an impossibility, especially with the nearby GM plant a UAW facility and Ford a significant investor. 

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T

There’s just one other curve ball, however: Like Tesla, Rivian has a direct sales model, which means that it also won’t be allowed to sell its trucks in the Lone Star state without some odd workarounds. 

Perhaps with tens of billions of dollars spent by Rivian and Tesla, Texas might be willing to change that rule at its next legislative session—in 2023. 

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