Rivian mulls new production site in partnership with Amazon

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The American electric car manufacturer Rivian is being offered multiple incentives to build a plant somewhere in Europe or the UK.

Could find itself with a strategic new production site that will streamline European and right-hand drive UK deliveries, thanks to offers being thrown at it from governments.

One such offer in the UK includes a new exit off the M5 motorway for easy access to the plant, the recommissioning of a railway link in the area and numerous training facilities. The 635-acre site could be used for battery production, car assembly, or both if the plans are to go ahead.

According to the Financial Times, Rivian is also considering proposals from at least two other European countries. Amazon is also involved in the talks, because Rivian has partnered with the brand to produce 100,000 electric delivery vans by 2030.

The plant will be Rivian’s first manufacturing facility outside the US, and will give the company the foothold it needs to easily access both the UK and EU markets. Setting up in the UK would also give the automotive industry another shot in the arm, following Nissan’s announcement that it will build its Leaf replacement in Sunderland, and the recent Stellantis restructure that secured the future of Ellesmere Port.

Rivian is expected to start deliveries of its R1T electric pick-up truck in January 2022, beating the likes of the Tesla Cybertruck and the Ford F-150 Lightning to the punch. It’ll be joined by a seven-seat SUV called the R1S, which will rival the Tesla Model X.

Prices for the pick-up start from $67,500 in the US (around AUD$96,000), for which buyers get a four-motor electric powertrain, a 0–100km/h time of three seconds and a maximum range of more than 480km on the launch models, although longer-range variants will follow.

The SUV is priced from $70,000 (roughly $100,000) and features the same impressive technical specifications, albeit with a lower 3500kg towing capacity.

Both vehicles also get a roomy interior with heated seats, a heated steering wheel and a large touch-screen and an arsenal of safety technology all coming as standard.

Yousuf Ashraf

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