Tuesday Ticker: Government billions over the battery budget, says report; Rivian makes production progress

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— In this weekly Tuesday Ticker, provincial and federal governments face flack for going a few billion over budget, while Rivian finally makes an inch of progress on its second production facility.

Billions over the battery budget
A new report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer says the Canadian government is almost six billion dollars over its projected budget for EV battery manufacturing.

The report, which analyzes government costs for projects from Northvolt, Volkswagen and Stellantis-LGS⁠—says provincial and federal EV battery manufacturing support will be $5.8 billion more than original projections.

The total cost of government support between 2022 and 2033 is said to be $43.6 billion, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officers’s report. Of that total, 62 percent will be federally-funded; 38 percent falls onto the Ont. and Que. governments.

The report also says the estimated break-even timeline for Northvolt’s production subsidy is approximately 11 years; for Volkswagen, 15 years; and for Stellantis’ subsidy, 23 years.

Rivian revs up in Georgia
Rivian has finally received approval for construction of its second EV plant, two years after plans for the Georgia, U.S.-based facility were announced.

Construction was initially set to begin in 2022, but plans were delayed amid a legal battle surrounding clauses to do with a US$1.5 billion incentive package from the state of Georgia. Opposers of the package had concerns around property tax incentives; they were concerned Rivian would not be paying its fair share. The case was cleared by Georgia Supreme Court this past summer.

The plant is set to start construction in early 2024 and comes with a US$5 billion price tag.

Rivian plans to manufacture its slightly smaller, more affordable R2-based EV, which is said to have an MSRP around US$40,000 and is comparable in size to the Ford Bronco.


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