Rivian | WGLT

Rivian

Crowd swarms pickup
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The electric automaker Rivian earned a lot of good press, consumer curiosity, and even a few jaw-drops this week as its pickup and SUV were finally revealed at the LA Auto Show.

But will those translate into sales?

SUV and pickup
Ryan Denham / WGLT

UPDATED 7:40 p.m. | Rivian made a big splash Tuesday at the LA Auto Show as it revealed its electric SUV and made the case that it’s positioned to succeed where many other EV startups have not.

RJ with the pickup truck in LA
Ryan Denham

Rivian wowed a crowd of investors and other VIPs on Monday as the EV startup’s pickup made its first public appearance under—and in front of—the stars in Los Angeles. 

Rivian Automotive

Illinois lawmakers are among those stakeholders trying to figure out how to best position the state to get economic opportunities, but also how to take a common sense approach to regulation, and public safety while moving toward people sharing the road with autonomous vehicles.

State Representative Tom Demmer (R) represents the 90th district in north central Illinois. He's a co sponsor of the early legislation already made law on this topic. Demmer said the debate is not particularly partisan, but it IS complicated.

Truck in the dirty
Rivian

Rivian’s pickup knows how to make an entrance.

Its headlights (and really the entire front end) are signature. Instead of horizontally shaped, the oval headlights are vertical—like you’re looking down at two LED-illuminated mini stadiums. They’re connected by a horizontal bar of light stretching side to side.

Nearly two years after announcing plans to buy the shuttered Mitsubishi Motors plant, the electric automaker Rivian is ready to reveal its two launch vehicles at the LA Auto Show.

Here's a look at how Rivian came to be:

Rivian screenshot
Rivian / YouTube

Two years ago when Bloomington-Normal first met Rivian, it looked like a one-man band. R.J. Scaringe was seemingly the face, the brains, and the extent of the operation.

Not anymore.

Scaringe speaks
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal residents won’t have to wait very long after the LA Auto Show to see Rivian’s first two vehicles firsthand—or to shop for one.

Rivian Automotive

The electric vehicle startup Rivian continued to emerge from its “extreme stealth” mode Tuesday, revealing its “skateboard” chassis and a timeline for when its first truck will be available for pre-order. 

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Looks like stealth mode is over.

The usually quiet Rivian Automotive made some noise in the past week, as the company revealed lots of new information in at least three media interviews and a press release.

Rivian employee works on battery
Twitter / @Rivian

Rivian Automotive will unveil its first two vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, GLT has confirmed.

Staff / WGLT

Gov. Bruce Rauner is trying to clarify his remarks about Rivian that some local officials saw as demeaning to the electric vehicle automaker.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

How badly did the Community Health Care Clinic need a new website?

Scaringe speaks at podium
Courtesy / Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council

Two community leaders who got a peek behind the Rivian curtain Monday say they returned from Michigan more optimistic about the EV startup's future.

Rivian Automotive

The first two vehicles being introduced by Rivian Automotive this year will be autonomous, or self-driving, and designed for adventure.

During an interview for GLT's Sound Ideas, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said the "electric adventure vehicles" will have steering wheels, but drivers won't have to necessarily use them. 

Staff / WGLT

The Normal Town Council on Monday voted unanimously to approve Rivian's first property tax breaks for meeting initial investment benchmarks, even as some council members said they want to learn more about the stealthy automaker's operations.

Inside the plant
Mike Miletich / WGLT

The head of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council said Rivian Automotive has earned its property tax abatement for the year.

Scaringe speaks at podium
Courtesy / Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council

When Rivian Automotive bought the shuttered Mitsubishi Motors plant in Normal, the company’s mystique was part of the excitement. Who was this MIT grad who wants to build electric vehicles here? What will the cars look like? Will it be like Tesla?

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Electric-vehicle maker Rivian said Tuesday it has brought on a new major investor as it nears the one-year anniversary of moving into the former Mitsubishi manufacturing plant.

Google Maps

Brandt Industries will be getting more than just local tax breaks if it brings a new plant to McLean County.

Rivian Automotive Auction Part Of 'Reconfiguration'

Mar 18, 2017
Mike Miletich / WGLT

An online auction of equipment formerly part of the Mitsubishi manufacturing plant is being organized by Maynard's Industries for Rivian Automotive.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner hopes Rivian Automotive will help boost employment in central Illinois.

Rauner joined many state and local elected officials at Rivian's opening ceremony Tuesday afternoon. Rauner said he's excited to see entrepreneurs like R.J. Scaringe take risks to start business in Illinois.

WGLT Staff

A new business coming to the Twin Cities is looking to build a partnership with District 87.

Staff / WGLT

The CEO of Rivian Automotive calls the community surrounding the Mitsubishi Plant "something special." 

Normal Town Council
Staff / WGLT

Skepticism and opposition surfaced quickly on social media after economic incentives were announced to attract Rivian Automotive to the former Mitsubishi auto manufacturing plant.  The Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council, the Town of Normal, and Mayor Chris Koos helped lead the effort to pass an incentive package which includes property tax abatements from area taxing bodies. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The Unit Five School District in McLean County is the latest local taxing body to approve Rivian Automotive's tax incentive package.

Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe spoke to board members Wednesday night about the educational opportunities Unit Five students could have with his company's technology.

Staff

Heartland Community College is the latest central Illinois taxing body to sign off on an incentive package and tax abatements to help lure Rivian Automotive to the twin cities.

Staff / WGLT

The founder and CEO of Rivian Automotive thinks people may be tiring of traditional car ownership.  He calls cars "poorly performing assets." R.J. Scaringe was in Normal as the company moves toward purchasing the former Mitsubishi car manufacturing plant. The town council voted unanimously on an economic incentive package Monday. 

Two auto industry executives talk with two local leaders in Normal Council chambers.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

After agreeing that it is a low-risk, high reward proposition Normal council members last night unanimously approved an incentive package to lure a start-up electric car manufacturer to the former Mitsubishi plant.  Rivian is an automotive technology company developing vehicles and services to advance the shift to sustainable mobility which would include automation and car-sharing models.

The Mayor of Normal said twin cities officials checked into negative news reports about Rivian Automotive and there is nothing there.

Koos made the case for proceeding with a million dollar cash grant and five year tax abatement to encourage Rivian to buy the former Mitsubishi plant.

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