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Rivian May Expand Illinois Plant

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Rivian skateboard chassis.
Rivian will use a “skateboard” chassis that includes a quad-motor system for its pickup trucks and SUV.

Published reports suggest that Rivian will expand it manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois. The electric vehicle manufacturer has filed plans that would add up to 10 million square feet, reports WGLT radio, although it cites company officials who said expansion would be far less than that.

The expansion could include a test track, training facilities, and logistics functions.

Rivian will manufacture its R1T electric pickup truck at the plant. The pandemic delayed the truck’s launch until this year. Both the R1T and Rivian’s SUV, the R1S, appear to be targeting toward retail rather than commercial customers.

Rivian uses a “skateboard” chassis that includes a quad-motor system, with a motor at each wheel to provide all-wheel-drive traction and allow it to do a “tank turn,” or spin in a small circle. Air suspension and hydraulic roll control will actively react to vehicle movement over varying terrain, and three battery pack sizes will give it ranges of 230 to 400-plus miles. Payload rating is 1,760 pounds and towing capacity is 11,000 pounds.

Starting price for an R1T is $69,000, but options are expected to raise prices toward $100,000.

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