A “small” fire broke out in the automated battery assembly area
No injuries were reported and property damages are minimal
Rivian is trying to ramp up production of the R1T pickup
The fire department was dispatched to the Rivian automotive assembly plant in Normal, Illinois on October 26 when a “small” fire was detected in the automated battery assembly area at around 5:00 pm
The firefighters used a hose to extinguish the flames and cool down the nearby battery cells in order to prevent other fires or a reignition, a common problem when dealing with lithium-ion batteries.
The operation was fairly quick but the employees were nonetheless evacuated. The plant’s ventilation system extracted the small amount of smoke that was created by the fire and cleanup crews were allowed inside shortly after.
No injuries have been reported and the physical damages are reported to be minimal. The cause of the blaze has been determined to be a battery sub-module, multiple of which are combined to form a complete battery pack.
Neither the company nor the fire department explained if the particular sub-module was defective of if it had been damaged before the incident. An investigation is expected.
Regular production restarted shortly afterwards.
Rivian is trying to ramp up production of its R1T electric pickup, of which only 56 have been built between the start of production on September 14th and October 22nd, less than 2 per day.
Since the company has received over 48,000 pre-orders for the R1T and the R1S upcoming SUV, it will have to speed up production dramatically in order to fulfill them in a reasonable delay.