Rivian is halting construction of its $5 billion Georgia plant to save money

The R2 SUV will be built in its Normal, Illinois plant at first.


Rivian generally had a good day yesterday, launching the R2 SUV along with the surprise R3 crossover and dune buggy-esque R3X that were met with general acclaim. Buried in that press release, however, was the news that the automaker is halting production of its $5 billion Georgia plant in order to save money.

Instead of building the R2 in Georgia as originally planned, the company will start production of the electric SUV at its existing Normal, Illinois plant. "Beyond significantly reducing the amount of capital needed to bring R2 to market, the company believes this approach considerably reduces risk to the launch and associated ramp," the company said.

The move will also allow Rivian to bring the R2 to market sooner, in the first half of 2026, while saving the company $2.25 billion in capital spending in the short term. That's important since it has been burning through cash of late, according to recent reports.

The Rivian R3 and R3X will eventually be built at the company's Georgia plant
Elliot Ross Studio

Of all the EV startups to come along of late, Rivian has been one of the most promising thanks to significant investments from Amazon, Ford and others. The company's electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV were also widely praised for their attractive designs, healthy range and more.

Ramping up an automotive startup is no easy feat, though, especially in a market that's been tough on EVs of late — with even stalwart Tesla feeling the pinch. It doesn't help that startup rivals like Fisker are having serious cash flow issues, as it may spook consumers wary of untested EV brands.

Rivian selected Georgia as the site for its second EV factory back in 2021, receiving up to $1.5 billion in state incentives. At the time, the company said it hoped to eventually produce 400,000 electric vehicles there annually. With plant changes, the Normal, Illinois facility will augment capacity to 215,000 units annually across R1T, R1S, EDV, RCV, and R2.

The Georgia location remains in the picture, but Rivian only said it construction would restart later. "Rivian’s Georgia plant remains an extremely important part of its strategy to scale production of R2 and R3," it said in a statement.