Rivian intends to make its own batteries, hints at future European plant
In paperwork required for its initial public offering (IPO), Rivian has disclosed that it’s considering manufacturing its own batteries, and may also expand production beyond the United States. The company mentioned in-house battery manufacturing in a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month, while also hinting at a future European factory. in the prospectus, Rivian said future efforts to expand manufacturing capacity would include “establishing in-house battery cell manufacturing capabilities to complement third-party cell procurement which will provide supply continuity and support our anticipated growth.”
2022 Rivian R1T
Samsung SDI is currently the sole supplier of cells to Rivian, and was reportedly considering a manufacturing location near Rivian’s Illinois assembly plant. But in-house manufacturing could given Rivian more flexibility to apply its own ideas. The company has already used an innovative dual-layer approach to pack more energy into less space.
Rivian will concentrate on the U.S. and Canadian markets initially, but said it plans to “enter Western European markets in the near-term, followed by entry into major Asian-Pacific markets.” The company added that it plans to “localize production and supply chains in these regions.” That seems to indicate consideration of factories outside the U.S. Regarding Europe specifically, Rivian said it will initially export vehicles to that market, but noted that at a later time it “may consider manufacturing and locating substantial additional operations in Europe.” Rivian also mentioned plans to offer a variety of software-based services springing from its Rivian Cloud platform, including fleet management services for commercial vehicles.
First customer Rivian R1T (from Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe via Twitter)
Information about future vehicles was limited, although Rivian did mention developing new platforms beyond the R1 architecture used for the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV, and the RCV platform used for commercial vehicles.
Rivian still isn’t delivering vehicles, but it made its first electric trucks for customers last month.
Amazon also plans to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from the company.
If Rivian did decide to make vehicles in Europe, it would follow Tesla, which after earlier reports otherwise now plans to make the new 4680 cell format, as well as a structural battery, at its Giga Berlin facility in Germany.
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