The race to complete electrification is heating up. While electric vehicle (“EV”) startups such as Tesla showed the world that it was possible to mass produce zero-emission electric cars, the nascent EV market is now seeing an influx of competition from startups such as Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN) as well as established carmakers. Rivian recently went public in one of the largest IPOs in history and achieved a valuation of more than $100 billion. The California-based electric truck maker is now working on its first electric offerings, including the electric Rivian R1T pickup truck, which will hit the market next year.
Several states are hoping to lure these EV startups and automakers as manufacturing facilities can provide plenty of new jobs and raise the economic status of surrounding companies. It looks as if Rivian, which was the first EV company to market an electric pickup truck, is in high demand. The state of Georgia may soon put together an incentive package that will be the largest ever in state history to keep Rivian in the state. The electric pickup truck maker recently unveiled plans to build a $5 billion vehicle assembly plant and EV battery factory in Georgia.
According to a Rivian executive, the move would create 7,500 new job opportunities, with state officials saying this number could grow to 10,000. Rivian will begin producing cars at the Georgia factory in 2024 and hopes to produce up to 400,000 cars at the facility per annum. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp may not have revealed the extent of the deal publicly, but senior officials say it will be even larger than the $400 million the state used to lure Kia Motors 15 years ago. Rivian’s package will reportedly include hundreds of millions of dollars for electric vehicle incentives and infrastructure development.
The state will build a workforce training center near the manufacturing facility at the East Atlanta Mega Site with specially designed high school courses to help students who would like to work in the burgeoning electric vehicle industry. Governor Kemp says that what attracted Rivian to the state and allowed for the passage of this massive incentive package is the state’s talented and skilled workforce, high quality of life and a reputation of being pro-business. The incentives just sweetened the deal.
However, some have criticized the move, stating that the state shouldn’t be giving such massive incentives to a company. J.C Bradbury, an economics professor at Kennesaw State University with plenty of experience writing on state subsidies says such economic development deals usually “don’t live up to promises.”
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