EV Maker Rivian in Early Talks for UK Factory

Rivian's R1S SUV. (Jeff Johnson/Rivian Automotive Inc.)

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Rivian Automotive Inc., the electric truck startup backed by Amazon.com Inc. and Ford Motor Co., is in talks with the U.K. government on building its first manufacturing plant outside the U.S. near the English city of Bristol, Sky News reported.

The investment probably would include a large state-support package, but the U.K. faces competition from Germany and the Netherlands for the site, Sky cited industry sources as saying. Talks with the U.K. government are at an early stage, and an investment could be worth more than 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion), Sky said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken a keen interest in the progress of the talks, although they are not yet at an advanced stage, Sky reported. Attracting environmentally friendly investment in the U.K. is a key part of Johnson’s plan for post-Brexit Britain and his climate agenda.

Gravity, a 616-acre campus near Bristol, in southwest England, has been identified by Rivian as a possible location for the new plant, Sky said.

The company also is exploring locations for a second plant in the U.S. Bloomberg News first reported Rivian’s plans for a European factory in November.

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