Rivian focuses on the production of electric trucks and SUVs.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp broke his silence last Wednesday on a historic manufacturing deal nearing its final stages, rumored to result in a multibillion electric vehicle plant built in Morgan County near Rutledge.

Could Morgan County be home to a massive new electric vehicle plant?

Kemp hinted that Rivian Automotive, an electric vehicle manufacturing company worth $100 billion, is on the verge of choosing the site for its second plant, noting that Georgia has recruited complimentary industries in recent years that aid a company like Rivian in producing top-of-the-line electric-powered vehicles.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” said Kemp in an interview with Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News. “I mean, we put, I think, a good proposal out there, we’ll see what the company decides.”

Kemp pointed to the green tech battery plant in Commerce from SK Innovation as such an industry that could serve as an extra draw for Rivian.

“You know, you mentioned Rivian. We’ve got, obviously SK, but we got 20-something other parts manufacturers that are going into automobiles, or the future EV,” Kemp said.

High-tech, semiconductor plant coming to Covington, Newton County

Georgia is fiercely competing with Texas to become the next location of Rivian’s second massive manufacturing plant, that could cost up to $5 billion to develop, that will create thousands of jobs and churn out an estimated 200,000 electric vehicles a year.

While Kemp did not confirm that an official deal with Rivian has been finalized just yet, people familiar with the project believe an official announcement will be made in coming weeks, coming forward to the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) earlier this week.

Locally, Morgan County residents in Rutledge allege they have received notice from the Joint Development Authority (JDA) intending to buy their properties to clear the way for the Rivian development. Those property owners would not go on the record with the Morgan County Citizen at this time.

The JDA is the four-county board comprised of Morgan, Walton, Newton and Jasper counties tasked with overseeing the development of Stanton Springs Industrial Park.

Shane Short, lead developer for the JDA said it was too early to comment earlier this week. “We may or may not announce a project,” he said. “There is no final deal at the moment.”

In the meantime, Rutledge residents are abuzz about the suspected Stanton Springs expansion inching toward the “Small, But Special” community as several Rutledge property owners are allegedly selling off large chunks of land off of I-20, acreage Rivian Automotive is reportedly eyeing for development.

“It’s the worst kept secret in Rutledge,” said Mayor Bruce Altznauer, who has been fielding calls from concerned Rutledge residents and who met with JDA members Andy Ainslie and Bob Hughes to discuss the new development at a special executive session during a Rutledge City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

On Monday, Nov. 15, The AJC reported that the area of “Morgan, Walton, and Newton” counties is poised to become the epicenter of the burgeoning electric car industry, with the possibility of creating thousands of jobs and revolutionizing Georgia’s automotive manufacturing economy.”

Stanton Springs Industrial Park is currently the home of Takeda, a $1.2 billion biopharmaceutical company, a $14 million Bioscience Training Center and a new Facebook data center, the first phase of which is estimated to cost $750 million.

Rivian is reportedly searching for a plot of land between 2,000 and 10,000 acres to build its multibillion electric car manufacturing plant. Rivian also landed a deal with Amazon to produce 100,000 electric delivery vehicles in the next three years.


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