Rivian’s long-range battery cell development team has reportedly undergone a significant restructuring. Reports suggest that approximately 20 members of this team, including Victor Prajapati, the lead cell engineer and a former senior manager at Tesla, were laid off, sparking speculation about Rivian’s future battery production plans.
Rivian, based in California, currently sources its battery cells from Samsung SDI in South Korea, integrating them into packs at its manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois. The decision to scale back the battery cell development team raises questions about the company’s previously announced plans to produce its own batteries at their upcoming factory in Georgia, potentially signaling reliance on third-party suppliers.. (via The Information)
The factory in Georgia is slated to begin production of Rivian’s R2 platform in 2026, with a prototype expected to be unveiled soon. The R2 platform is expected to first launch with a smaller SUV in the $50,000 price range. At the same time, Rivian has also revealed plans to adopt lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cells for entry-level batteries and delivery vans, enhancing affordability.
In November, Rivian announced it was revising its production forecast. However unlike some rivals, the company wasn’t downgrading its forecast, instead now aiming to deliver 54,000 vehicles in 2023, surpassing its earlier guidance of 52,000 deliveries. The company also announced amendments to its exclusivity agreement with Amazon, allowing the sale of commercial vans to other customers.