US CYBERTRUCK RIVAL CONSIDERING UK FOR PRODUCTION BASE
Rivian, the US manufacturer of electric SUVs and trucks, is rumoured to be in talks with the UK government over plans to build a production facility in Somerset.
Based in Irvine, California, Rivian recently hit the headlines after its Nasdaq IPO in November. The company’s shares increased by 72% within a week of the flotation, making the relatively young manufacturer more valuable than the Volkswagen Group.
The company, which was founded by Robert RJ Scaringe in 2009, has currently delivered less than 50 vehicles with mass production due to start in early 2022.
Rivian’s profile was raised after Amazon placed an order for 100,000 electric delivery vans in 2019. Delivery is expected to be staggered up to 2030.
Recent reports in The Financial Times suggest that the UK government is willing to make significant investments if Rivian chooses Somerset as its base for a production facility. According to the article, the UK government has promised to build a new exit of the M5 motorway for easier access to plant, recommission a railway link in the area and offer financial support. If agreed, the Rivian facility would occupy a 635-acre site that could produce batteries and assemble vehicles.
Two other EU countries are also rumoured to be in talks with Rivian.
Rivian currently offers two vehicles. The R1T is an electric truck with an expected range of over 300 miles. The R1S is an SUV that is designed to be able to drive through 3ft of water, tow up to 7,700 lbs and accommodate seven passengers.