Rivian Runs Pilot Production Tests for Its Own Battery Factory in Korea

Many American EV carmakers, including General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, partnered with Korean battery manufacturers and convinced them to open battery production facilities in the U.S. Rivian goes the other way around though, by establishing its own battery plant in Korea. The news is confirmed by Korean media and is a real surprise after Rivian failed to get Samsung SDI onboard.
Rivian runs pilot production tests for its own battery factory in Korea 8 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
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Several Rivian executives in charge of production and battery development have recently visited Korea. Local media believe this comes as the American startup prepares to open a pilot battery production in Korea. The choice is interesting but did not come out of the blue, considering the experience Korean battery producers have in producing Li-Ion cells.

Rivian recently failed to strike a deal with Samsung SDI because they could not commit to a volume and also submitted “unacceptable” conditions. Left with few options, Rivian is trying to manufacture its own cells, but first, it needs to acquire the know-how. This would come from the Korean battery manufacturers and explains why Rivian went to Korea for the first pilot phase of the production.

According to TheElec, Rivian’s executives are considering the regions with the best perspectives to recruit workers for the future battery plant. They also analyze how easy it is to secure battery equipment and production facilities for their future pilot lines.

According to one of Rivian’s potential battery equipment suppliers in Korea, the American EV maker plans to make prismatic cells using a ternary cathode material. After Rivian will test the technology in its Korean pilot production facility, they will move everything to the U.S. where the commercial production will take place. Rivian aims to have a 100 GWh battery production capacity by 2030, and this is only possible by partnering with external battery specialists.

Rivian is not the only one seeking a partnership with Korean companies to accelerate its Li-Ion program. Other battery startups like Northvolt, Automotive Cell Company (ACC), Freyr, British Volt, Vercore, and Vinfast have tried to do the same. The reality is none of them succeeded in successfully transferring the technology. In Europe, especially, the production is low while prices are high.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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