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Electric truck maker in talks for Bristol factory

·2-min read
A Rivian truck
A Rivian truck

An Amazon-backed electric vehicle manufacturer is in talks with ministers over revving up plans for a huge factory near Bristol.

Rivian has been negotiating with the Government over choosing Britain for its first plant outside of America, in a post-Brexit boost for the nation.

However, the Government is facing a battle to secure Rivian’s £1bn investment as the Netherlands and Germany prepare rival bids.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken a keen interest after being briefed on the plans, according to Sky News, which first reported the talks.

The discussions centre on creating a plant for manufacturing electric vehicles at the 616-acre Gravity campus near Bristol, but they could settle instead on plans for a gigafactory building electric batteries.

Capturing the investment would be the latest confidence boost for the UK’s automotive sector in the wake of Brexit.

Vauxhall-owner Stellantis secured the future of its Ellesmere Port plant near Liverpool last month by making it a focal point for building electric vans.

Nissan, the UK’s largest carmaker, has also vowed to create 6,000 jobs through plans to forge a £1bn electric car hub in Sunderland.

Rivian boss RJ Scaringe founded the company in 2009 and has gone on to win backing from the Ford Motor Company and a string of Silicon Valley investors.

The company counts Amazon as its largest customer after the tech giant ordered 100,000 electric trucks that will go into production later this year.

The rival to Elon Musk's Tesla has attracted a valuation in excess of $50bn (£36bn) and secured a further $2.5bn from investors last month, as it looks to “scale new vehicle programmes and expand its domestic facility footprint”.

A government spokesman said: “While we are working to attract inward investment into the UK to accelerate the growth of new industries, we cannot comment on speculation about individual investments.”

Rivian did not respond to a request for comment.

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