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Vehicle production accelerates at Rivian plant in Normal

Charging station at Rivian plant
Eric Stock
The Rivian plant in Normal.

Rivian produced 7,363 electric vehicles during the third quarter of the year, according to a company release. That's a 67% step-up from the prior three-month period, and more than six times the number produced in the first quarter of 2022.

  • 1st quarter: 2,553 vehicles
  • 2nd quarter: 4,401
  • 3rd quarter: 7,363
  • Year-to-date: 14,317

The company said it is on track to produce and deliver its goal of 25,000 vehicles this year. That would require fourth quarter production of more than 10,000 EVs. Rivian delivered 6,584 vehicles during the just-ended quarter.
Some customers who placed pre-orders nearly four years ago are still waiting for their electric trucks and SUVs. One said the company had just sent a notice telling him the order would now be filled in the spring.

Production ramp-ups for start-up electric vehicle companies commonly take significant amounts of time. That has been true when there is not a global shortage of semi-conductors that has hampered all car makers, not just companies that produce electric vehicles. Back in 2017, Tesla took a full year to produce 20,000 of its then-new Model 3 vehicles.

Earlier this year, Rivian announced its intention to start a second shift at the plant in Normal and to hire another 1,500 workers.

Meanwhile, a judge in Georgia, in a ruling last week, denied the electric automaker $15 billion in bonds to finance construction of a new plant near Atlanta. The Morgan County Superior Court judge said the state's Joint Development Authority did not prove the Rivian project was "sound, reasonable, and feasible" So, the company is not eligible for the bonds. The Judge also found Rivian should pay property taxes.

Georgia Public Broadcasting reported residents who oppose the plant are calling it a big win, with members of the Rivian opposition group saying they were grateful the judge was so meticulous.

In a statement, the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Joint Development Authority said they plan to move forward and may appeal the decision. Opponents said such an appeal could take a long time.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.