Last week Bloomberg News reported that Amazon-backed Rivian Automotive, the Irvine, CA-based electric vehicle startup, could potentially invest around $5 billion to build a factory near Fort Worth. The factory would produce 200,000 vehicles a year and create some 7,500 jobs by 2027. Bloomberg said the North Texas site “has become the front-runner for Rivian.”
The proposed Walsh Ranch site for Rivian’s factory would be on 2,000 acres 12 miles southwest of downtown Fort Worth. An Aug. 10 presentation made by Fort Worth’s Economic Development Department proposed incentives including grants and city tax abatements of as much as $440 million, and a nomination for the Texas Enterprise Zone Project.
Ray Perriman sees huge potential benefits
In an update on the story, Fort Worth Star-Telegram spoke with economist Ray Perryman of the Perryman Group, who said the project would be “a huge economic generator for the region,” leading to $6.2 billion in construction and development product alone.
By 2027, Perryman projects the annual benefits from the Rivian plant could include almost $2 billion on gross product, about $1.2 billion in personal income, and more than 30,000 in total jobs, the Star-Telegram wrote.
Perryman said that Fort Worth’s proposed $440 million tax incentives package for Rivian could be recouped in fewer than seven years, with an annual return on investment of about 19%.
But Perryman cautioned that the package wasn’t without risk.
“Effects of that magnitude are certainly adequate to justify the package according to typical criteria,” Perryman told the Star-Telegram. “Having said that, the risk associated with the project are relatively high given that Rivian is essentially a startup company in an emerging industry that is already characterized by stiff competition. That fact should be considered in both the magnitude and terms of any package.”
The paper says supporters of the project believe the Rivian plant could have as big an impact on Fort Worth as GM had on Arlington when it opened its assembly plant there in 1954.
Rivian is making 100,000 EV vans for Amazon
The potential Rivian factory isn’t the only local news the company has made lately.
Rivian, which has raised $10.5 billion to date from investors like Ford Motor Co. and T. Rowe Price, recently struck a deal to build 100,000 EV vans for Amazon by the end of the decade.
Amazon recently began making deliveries in southwest Fort Worth using Rivian vans.
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