Electric vehicle manufacturer considering $5B project in Fort Worth
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
A $5 billion investment by an electric vehicle startup backed by Amazon.com and Ford could bring at least 7,500 jobs for a factory looking to produce 200,000 vehicles annually to Fort Worth.
“It’s a huge investment that, if it happens, would be one of the largest projects in state history.”
The 2,000-acre site under consideration is in the Walsh development 12 miles southwest of downtown Fort Worth. Irvine, California-based Rivian Automotive Inc., the electric vehicle startup is behind the plan. The Fort Worth City Council approved an economic development package with Rivian that would include up to $440 million in grants and county tax abatements. The city also proposes to nominate Rivian’s plans for the Texas Enterprise Zone Project, making it eligible for state tax incentives. There could be other incentives as well from Tarrant and Parker counties, as the site straddles both jurisdictions.
The project would be five times the capital investment and create 2.5 times more jobs than the Toyota headquarters project in Plano and roughly equivalent to the Tesla investment planned for the Austin area.
Needless to say, with a $5 billion investment opportunity on the hook, economic development officials are hoping the area gets the final nod.
“It’s still a very competitive process, so we can’t say too much at this time,” said Robert Sturns, Director of the Economic Development Department at the City of Fort Worth. “However, we are excited that Fort Worth has made it to this point and are thrilled to be among one of the final cities under consideration.”
According to a report by Bloomberg, Rivian has not made a final decision on the project. Other locations and states are still under consideration, but according to the Bloomberg report, Fort Worth has recently become a front-runner for the project.
Unlike Tesla, Rivian focuses on the truck and SUV market. Rivian is an American all -electric vehicle manufacturer founded in 2009. Its initial customer deliveries are scheduled for September 2021. The products are the R1T and R1S high-performance electric trucks and SUVs.
The company’s design, engineering, and software development centers are in California, while supplier engineering and G&A functions are located in Plymouth, Michigan, with production in Normal, Illinois, in a former Mitsubishi plant.
The start-up has been supported by investments from a combination of strategic (e.g., Amazon, Ford, Cox Automotive) and institutional investors (Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, Black Rock, Coatue, etc.), raising more than $10.5 billion since 2019. The company has a contract from Amazon for 100,000 electric vehicle delivery vans.
The $5 billion capital investment commitment for the new plant from Rivian would include a minimum $2 billion in real property improvements, $1.6 billion in hard construction costs and minimum 15% hard and soft construction costs to Certified MBE companies.
The minimum average annual salaries for employees would be at least $56,000, according to the presentation. The factory would include 12 million square feet of vertical construction.
The 7,200-acre Walsh master-planned development includes commercial development, residential neighborhoods, mixed-use areas and dedicated open spaces.
To get a look at some Rivian electric vehicles, you may just need to look out the window. North Texas is one of 16 locations where Amazon is using its new custom electric delivery vehicles, built in partnership with Rivian.
Source: Fort Worth Business