EV maker Rivian (RIVN) just got a huge break. Despite opposition, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal contesting the legitimacy of Rivian’s expected property tax breaks for its new $5 billion EV facility in the state.
Rivian first announced plans for a massive 2,000-acre, $5 billion electric vehicle plant in Georgia in December 2021.
Once fully operational, the facility will be capable of producing up to 400,000 EVs annually. In comparison, its Normal, IL, plant has a maximum production capacity of 150,000 EVs per year.
At the time, Rivian said the Georgia facility would be home to its next generation of products. Initial plans called for construction to begin last summer, with the start of production (SOP) by 2024.
Despite this, Rivian has yet to break ground officially. The facility has faced its fair share of opposition, with five residents suing the Joint Development Authority (JDA) of Jasper, Morgan, Newton, and Walton Counties and the company it hired to begin grading this past October.
Before that, seven members of Rivian opposition group Morgan County Land, Sky & Water Preservation challenged aspects of the local property tax incentives being offered to the EV maker.
A Morgan County judge sided with the Rivian opposition group in September, rejecting roughly $700 million in local property tax breaks, a central piece of its over $1.5 billion incentive package, which includes tax breaks, grants, free land, and infrastructure.
Rivian’s incentive package is the second largest in Georgia state history, behind The Hyundai Motor Group’s $1.8 billion in similar benefits for its $5.5 billion, 3,000-acre EV assembly plant in Bryan County.
In April, a panel of judges ruled in favor of JDA and the State of Georgia on four of five aspects of the legal controversy over the majority of Rivian’s incentive package.
However, the panel declined to validate the bonds at the heart of the $700M in local tax breaks Rivian expected to receive. The following month, the court threatened the factory and asked Rivian if it wanted to terminate its agreement with the state and JDA over the facility if the tax breaks weren’t included.
Rivian wins big on Georgia EV facility
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Rivian was “committed to this state and this project.”
Georgia’s highest court said it would let stand an appellate court’s ruling that primarily favored the state and JDA, paving the way for reinstating hundreds of millions of dollars in tax savings for Rivian.
Although a formal groundbreaking ceremony has yet to occur, the site is currently being graded. Production is now expected to begin in 2026, building Rivian’s next-gen R2 series products.
The Georgia facility is expected to employ 7,500 workers while spurring thousands of supplier and related jobs, according to Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. He explained:
A project of this scale attracts suppliers and builds a thriving community that can support more local businesses. The benefits will be felt across the e-mobility ecosystem and the dozens of other industries its supply chain touches.
Rivian recently shattered analyst expectations, delivering 12,640 EVs in the second quarter while producing nearly 14,000. The EV maker introduced its in-house Enduro drive units and LFP battery packs this past quarter, which Rivian says will help streamline production. Rivian aims to produce 50,000 EVs total for the year, more than doubling from 2022.
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