Rivian in talks with Illinois about incentives ahead of R2 production


Rivian is now in discussions about a new incentive arrangement with the state of Illinois, after the electric vehicle (EV) maker unveiled its upcoming R2 SUV earlier this week, now set to be built within the state.

During the automaker’s unveiling of the highly anticipated R2 on Thursday, Rivian said it would start producing the forthcoming SUV at its factory in Normal, Illinois, rather than following initial plans to produce the EV at a future plant in Georgia. Rivian is also pausing construction on the new factory, set to be located outside of Atlanta, in hopes to focus instead on achieving profitability with the upcoming R2, R3 and R3X EVs.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) referenced the plans for a new incentives package, saying that it would share details upon finalizing certain parts of the proposal.

Tesla Lead Engineer urges Rivian to optimize R2 for existing Supercharger Network

“The elements of an economic development package are still being finalized,” the DCEO said (via Automotive News). “Once they are finalized, we will update the public on the details of the incentive package.”

Deliveries of the R2 are expected to begin in 2026, and the company says the change of plans to produce the R2 at its currently operational Normal facility will help it get the $45,000 SUV on the market sooner. Meanwhile, plans and construction for the Georgia plant are delayed indefinitely.

“Once again, Rivian has reaffirmed the message that Illinois is one of the best places to do business in the country,” DCEO added. “We stand by Rivian and stand ready to support them as they increase capacity at their Bloomington-Normal facility to rollout the R2.”

Rivian has already created more than 8,000 jobs in Illinois, and with the future of the Georgia plant now unclear, the former state has a chance to scoop up additional employment opportunities as the industry turns toward EVs. Still, it isn’t clear whether Rivian plans to expand its Normal factory to accommodate the R2 line or re-tool production lines to increase output, nor is it clear if the addition will add more jobs.

CEO RJ Scaringe says he expects launching the R2 at its Normal production facility could save the company almost $2.3 billion, after the automaker posted an operating loss of $5.7 billion in 2023.

“Just as we were faced with incredibly daunting challenges during the launch of our flagship R1 product line — ramping production in the throes of a global pandemic amid an unprecedented supply chain crisis — we are applying those same lessons today,” Scaringe wrote in a recent statement. “Historically high interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty are affecting everyone, and we must adjust and stay ahead of those situations.”

Beyond unveiling the expected R2 earlier this week, Rivian also surprised the world by unveiling designs for new compact crossover EVs, dubbed the R3 and R3X. The automaker didn’t share a price or production timeline for the crossovers, though it did say both EV lineups will offer three configurations: single-motor, dual-motor and tri-motor trims. Rivian also says the EVs will have DC fast-charging capabilities, featuring both an NACS and CCS charging option.

What are your thoughts? Let me know at, find me on X at @zacharyvisconti, or send your tips to us at

Rivian in talks with Illinois about incentives ahead of R2 production


Source link