Rivian Automotive’s Future Factory Site Is Full Of Volkswagen’s Dirty Diesels – Drone Video


Teslarati – by way of drone – stumbled upon some interesting information regarding the newly acquired Rivian Automotive factory in Normal, IL.

As you can see in the video above, the factory’s parking lot is riddled with a myriad of Volkswagen’s “dirty diesels.”

The vehicles in question are those that were manufactured between 2009 and 2015, and have a unit in place that was used to scam emissions testing (otherwise known as Dieselgate).


Inside the Rivian Automotive Production Facility

Teslarati estimates that about 14,000 VWs are being stored in a lot that is now being leased to Vascor Logistics by Rivian Automotive.

Obviously, VW has yet to come up with a workable plan for the mass of vehicles, although it now has approval conditions from the EPA under which to re-sell some of the cars (some 67,000 2015 model year vehicles) back to the American public via updating the vehicles’ emissions software immediately, and the hardware following the sale.

Earlier, the automaker was storing the faulty cars at the Pontiac Silverdome (see that video below), but the space at Rivian’s new site is much more substantial, and up until now, no one really had a use for it after Mitsubishi packed up shop. Jeannine Ginivan, a VW representative told Teslarati:

“These vehicles will be held and routinely maintained until it is determined whether an approved emissions modification becomes available. If approved, the settlement allows Volkswagen to modify affected 2.0L TDI vehicles so they can be returned to commerce or exported. Vehicles that are not modified must be responsibly recycled.

These 14,000 or so vehicles are only a small percentage of the total VW cars affected. The company needs to make a plan for about 475,000 total vehicles.  Some will be used for parts, some scrapped, some will be re-sold once made compliant (~67,000), while some owners have accepted restitution and repairs while keeping their VW diesels.

Vascor Logistics hasn’t disclosed its lease deal with Rivian, and Rivian is also keeping the information confidential. But, according to Teslarati, we  know that the logistics company is working for VW, and is paying Rivian for the use of the site. This means more cash flow for Rivian, and we all know that funding is the biggest crutch when it comes to moving forward with a startup. At this point, this is “free” money for Rivian, especially since the company has no use for the space, at least for now. This free money is on top of other free money awarded by Illinois state and local municipalities. Rivian also has secured investors, but has yet to publicize any official information.

The factory, as well as its grounds, are monumental, and surely far exceed Rivian’s immediate needs. It isn’t likely that the startup will need much of the property for a long time. There is no reason that VW can’t store more vehicles there and perhaps indefinitely. Rivian could choose to use this as a stepping stone to begin leasing space and/or facilities to others in need.

In essence, VW’s “dirty diesels” could indirectly lead to the success of clean cars for the future. We really hope that Rivian finds much success, and makes a notable impact on the industry. We are glad to see that VW can be of assistance.

Hat tip to Gene from Teslarati for sending this along!

Source: Teslarati

Categories: General, Volkswagen

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15 Comments on "Rivian Automotive’s Future Factory Site Is Full Of Volkswagen’s Dirty Diesels – Drone Video"

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This would be a golden opportunity for the designers of the VW e-Golf, they shoehorned a formidable electrical drive train into a Golf chassis, maybe they can find a retrofit way to turn this pile of diesel cars into clean fully electric cars ?

Crush them all.

Indeed. It is highly doubtful that it would pay any auto manufacturer to take finished automobiles and turn them into conversion cars for which there likely will be little if any demand. Better to just write off the sunk costs rather than throw good money after bad.

Sell them for cheap without the motor, partner with EV conversion companies to turn these into EV, or combination. Crushing perfectly usable car sans motor is not good.


Do they still exist? EV conversion companies that convert standard passenger vehicles to electric? (Not talking about specialty jobs like old-timers)

I think that with the price of 2nd hand LEAFs and other EV’s that is impossible to compete against.

So, VW’s “dirty diesels” may be helping fund Rivian, which is an EV startup which I think shows some promise?

Sometimes I just love how karma works!
😀 😀 😀

Go Rivian!

I would sell the gliders for retrofit.

Use a little of VW’s fine to tool up a mass produced EV conversion kit that Rivian or another startup can use to convert the 400K that need to be cleaner. Bingo indeed

I still think they should be allowed to ship these to South America and sell them all. Even though they fail US emissions standards, they still exceed emissions standards in many nations outside of the US.

They would still be cleaner than the cars that would normally be sold in many nations.

Exactly, what a waste, but nobody cares that 30 year-old diesels are still being driven all over the world, but these cars will be left to rust…

What happened to that “Tesla Kit” that was announced on April 1st??


Interesting to see the repetitious color scheme among the mass of cars… blackish, grayish, red, white, with a sprinkling of yellow.

Rivian will never build a car. Third state. Third attempt. They will become a storage facility. Move on and take another states free money.

The problem with sending us compliant diesels to other states….

US and European diesels are designed with emmissions equipment that requires low sulfur fuel.

In countries other than the US, low sulfur diesel is not available.