While Rivian’s plan for a $5-billion manufacturing campus in Georgia remains paused after a change in strategy earlier this year, the electric automaker announced its intent May 2 to build a $1.5-billion expansion of its plant in Normal, Ill., to produce its R2 SUVs. Illinois officials offered the company an incentive package worth $827 million over 30 years for the expansion. 

The Normal plant is a former Mitsubishi facility that Rivian has already expanded to 3.88 million sq ft at a cost of more than $2 billion. Rivian has not yet confirmed the details of the building plans or contractors for the upcoming project, a company spokesperson said via email. 

Rivian has manufactured more than 100,000 EVs at the Normal plant since 2021, according to the company. The expansion would increase the facility’s capacity to 215,000 units per year.

The terms of the Reimagining Energy and Vehicles (REV) tax credit agreement between Rivian and Illinois reveal some details about the project. To claim the incentives, Rivian will need to attain one or more green building standard certifications recognized under state law, such as BREEAM or LEED, within two years of the expansion’s completion. And if the EV maker wants to claim a REV construction jobs tax credit, its contractor must enter into a project labor agreement for the work. 

The agreement also sets out Rivian’s $1.5-billion investment in the project. However, a copy of the agreement shared by state officials redacts the amounts to be spent on construction versus plant equipment. 

Rivian would produce its R1T electric pickup trucks, R1 and R2 electric SUVs and electric delivery vehicles at the expanded plant. During an event to announce the state incentives, Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said the company had been planning how to integrate production of the new R2 into the facility for months while also working with Illinois officials on the incentive package terms, saying the state “made it so easy to make this decision to continue growing and investing in this site.”

Earlier, Rivian had planned to produce the R2s at its to-be-built plant in Stanton Springs, Ga., but in March, the company announced that it was delaying construction of the $5-billion project with contractor Clayco Inc. The EV maker said then that moving initial R2 manufacturing to its Illinois plant would save $2.25 billion and allow it to start production sooner. 

“Rivian had other options, but it chose to double down right here in Normal, Illinois, because of our well-trained and excellent workforce, our nationally renowned infrastructure and our robust connections to other suppliers,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at the incentive announcement event. 

As part of the REV deal, Rivian also agreed to create at least 559 new full-time jobs at the Normal plant by the end of 2029, and to maintain operations there for at least 15 years. It also agreed to make workforce investments supporting a manufacturing training academy, apprenticeship program for high school students and an employer training investment program. 

“That package is built on the long-term commitments that Rivian is making to our state,” Pritzker said. 

Rivian has not said how soon it may begin work on the Georgia project or what will be produced there if R2 production stays at the Normal plant. Scaringe said on X that Rivian has more than 68,000 preorders for the R2 SUV but even that number would not require two separate plants and production lines. He also said that Rivian has reaffirmed the company’s commitment to build in Georgia for R2 and R3 SUV production, and Anthony Johnson of Clayco told ENR in a statement at the time the delay was announced that the contractor “will be ready to support and execute our plans seamlessly” when Rivian wants to advance construction. Under the terms of an agreement with Georgia, Rivian has until the end of 2030 to invest at least $5 billion and create 7,500 jobs to claim the benefits of an incentive package worth $1.5 billion.