Last week, rumours about Rivian planning to set up an assembly plant in the UK surfaced online. If true, that would mean the EV startup has started planning its third plant already, even though it has yet to bring a production model to the road.
Now, more details about what could become Rivian's first overseas production facility have become available. As it turns out, the location desired by Rivian is in Gravity, a smart campus near Bristol that promises to be one of the most sustainable of its kind in Europe.
Interestingly, that’s the same site that Tesla has been rumoured to target for a potential Gigafactory in the UK. In May 2020, reports surfaced about the British government searching for a 91-acre (36.8-hectare) site for Tesla in Gravity.
In total, the smart campus covers 616 acres (249 hectares) and offers direct access to the Bristol deep seaport, the M5 motorway, and on-site rails for passengers and freight. The site is also located near Bristol and the Exeter International Airport, not to mention several universities that would ensure access to local talent.
Talks with the British government are reportedly at an early stage, and the investment could be worth more than £1 billion. However, it’s worth noting that the UK faces competition from Germany and the Netherlands to host Rivian’s new plant.
Rumours about Rivian’s plans for a UK factory come not long after a report about the EV startup’s intention to invest $5 billion (£3.6 billion) in a second plant in the US. The rumoured site is in Arizona’s Pinal County, in the so-called Arizona Innovation and Technology Corridor.
The report mentioned a target date to start production in the second quarter of 2023, with construction of the so-called “Project Tera” plant expected to begin in the fall of 2021.
Speaking of the fall of 2021, that’s also when Rivian will finally bring its first production EVs to market. The first to arrive will be the R1T pickup in September, followed by the R1S SUV later in the fall.