Rivian eyes third assembly plant after talks with UK ministers

Electric car company Rivian, based in Normal, Illinois, is eyeing its third vehicle assembly plant to be in the United Kingdom after talks with ministers in the region. The construction of an electric vehicle factory could include a sizeable aid support package, offering Rivian notable subsidies to build a vehicle manufacturing facility.

Rivian is backed by several large-scale companies like Amazon, Ford, and Cox Automotive and has been in negotiations with British government officials for weeks, according to Reuters, who initially broke the story. The likely location of the production plant would be Bristol, a city in southwestern England with a population of nearly a half-million people.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe (right). (Photo: Rivian)

Nothing is concrete yet, but talks have been ongoing for several weeks, and financial figures, like how much the investment could cost, are being discussed. According to the report, Rivian could spend well over £1 billion ($1.39 billion), not a tall task after the company recently announced its second multi-billion funding round last week. Rivian has achieved over $10.5 billion in investments from its private funding rounds.

British government agencies, including the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, did not comment, citing “individual investments” as the reason.

Rivian already has its main production facility in Illinois, where the company is headquartered. However, the company has been included in the talks of several additional production plants over the past several weeks. In mid-July, it was reported that Rivian had been looking for its second U.S.-located facility, which it expects to spend $5 billion on. The location of this second factory has yet to be determined, and there are no prospective areas, unlike the newly discovered UK plant that the company is working to come to an agreement on with British government officials.

Rivian is perceived as a potential rival of Tesla’s moving forward, especially as both companies will imminently enter the electric pickup truck sector. Rivian is set to deliver its first vehicle in September, the R1T all-electric pickup truck. Production and deliveries of this vehicle have been pushed back several times over the past 16 months, as Rivian has combated plant closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has sparred with the global semiconductor shortage that has plagued automakers globally for several months. Additionally, the company planned to deliver the R1T earlier this month, but the date was once again pushed back.

Evidently working toward an extended buildout of factories worldwide to launch production efforts off quickly, Rivian also filed to trademark six additional vehicle names earlier this week. The company plans to have six all-electric vehicles on the market by 2025.

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Joey Klender: Transportation Writer | Penn State Alum | Future World Series of Poker Bracelet Holder 🚀 🛰 ☀️ 🚘 🧠 🕳
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