The city of Normal has seen tremendous growth since electric car maker Rivian came into the neighborhood. Rivian plans for normal are huge, as the automaker plans to employ more than 5000 workers at peak capacity.
Rivian’s presence in Normal is attracting another large manufacturer to the area, Samsung.
The South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group is reportedly considering building a battery manufacturing plant in Normal.
“We have multiple prospects that are billions of dollars,” Patrick Hoban, CEO of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council, speaking to The Pantagraph on Thursday. “Energy is on our side. The economic development flywheel is probably spinning faster than it ever has.”
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in a virtual news conference on Thursday said that Samsung is in talks to build a plant in Normal to make batteries.
“This Samsung facility, we hope, will be located next door to Rivian. That decision has not been made. Having a battery facility will also create thousands of jobs. We are blessed in Central Illinois to have this kind of expansion and opportunity, particularly with electric vehicles. Those are the vehicles of the future,” he said.
This news will also be great for Rivian as the automaker was in talks a few weeks ago with Samsung SDI, Samsung’s battery production arm to acquire batteries for its R1T electric adventure truck and the R1S, Rivian’s electric adventure SUV.
Outside the preorders taken for both the truck and SUV, Rivian has earned a contract to build 100,000 electric delivery vehicles for Amazon. As of now, Rivian plans to get its supply of electric batteries for these cars from Samsung, and that is going to be a lot of them.
“The demand for EV batteries will grow higher than expected due to the Biden administration’s eco-friendly policy,” The Times reported.
Normal Mayor Chris Koos confirmed that a company is considering the town for a multi-billion dollar manufacturing project that would employ between 3,000 to 4,000 people. He could not confirm Samsung is the company in question but said “we’re quite flattered that we have been given such a hard look by this company.”
“To me, personally, it’s very gratifying that the efforts that we’ve taken as a community have been recognized nationally and internationally.” Koos continued
This might become a trend with Rivian suppliers. Companies supplying parts and components for Rivian automotive may seek to establish manufacturing facilities next door to Rivian in Normal in order to cut costs and logistics
Rivian’s workforce in Normal has tripled in the last eight months, and as of Thursday the company employs 2,450 people, said spokesman Zach Dietmeier. The company also has snapped up surrounding parcels for expansions.
“We are looking at the reality that the current Rivian plant in Normal is going to be expanded far beyond what we expected, up to 5,000 individuals will be working there when they reach their optimum capacity,” Durbin said on Thursday.
Rivian also is developing plans to invest $5 billion in a second manufacturing plant, inciting a comment from Tesla CEO Elon Musk.