While there remain numerous concerns about the automotive industry in the UK in the wake of Brexit, there’s no doubt that the electric vehicle (EV) market is continuing to grow at an exponential rate on these shores.
Make no mistake; this is providing relief for a stricken automotive industry as a whole, which is thought to add around £15.3 billion in value to the UK economy and produces a total revenue in excess of £78.9 billion.
From an EV perspective, market leading US brand Rivian is the latest to throw its hat into the UK market. But what does this mean, and what sort of vehicles does the company manufacture?
Rivian’s £1 Billion UK Factory
The US electric SUV manufacturer Rivian has generated significant headlines of late, with this exciting startup backed by both Ford and Amazon.
What’s more, it has recently entered into discussions with the UK government about building a factory for its vehicles on British soil, with a 616-acre site in Bristol currently under consideration by Rivian officials.
If this site was approved for the development of the Rivian plant, Sky News reports that the subsequent deal will include significant financial support from the UK taxpayer.
The cumulative value of this investment is expected to peak at well in excess of £1 billion, although it should be noted that the company’s representatives are also checking out an array of alternative locations in Germany and the Netherlands.
We should also mention that the talks are not yet at an advanced stage in any location, although if the plant was to be constructed in the UK, this would be Rivian’s first outside the US and afford the brand a solid foothold to trade freely in both British and EU marketplaces.
It would also represent good news for the automotive sector in the UK as a whole, in the wake of Nissan’s announcement that it will build its Leaf replacement in Sunderland and the recent Stellantis restructure at Ellesmere port.
The Rise of EVs in the UK
We’ve certainly seen a plethora of EVs launch in the UK of late, with more than 250,000 purely electric cars sold nationwide as of May 2021.
As it enters the UK market, Rivian is expected to start deliveries of its R1T pick-up truck in January next year, beating the likes of the Tesla Cybertruck and the Ford F-150 Lightning to the punch in the process.
This vehicle will also be joined by a seven-seat SUV called the R1S, which will rival the Tesla Model X and could become a highly popular option in the UK’s increasingly green-focused economy.
While things may be changing in the industry in terms of the types of vehicle sold, some things remain of universal importance in the marketplace. For example, if you decided to buy a Rivian model or similar vehicle in the UK, you’d need to consider the costs of ownership compared to a combustion engine car and seek out affordable gap insurance.
Gap insurance can cover the difference between the amount that you paid for your car (or owe on a finance agreement) and the amount an insurer would pay out in the event of it being written off or stolen.
This is an important consideration, especially when you consider that the prices for a Rivian pick-up start from $67,000 in the US and will be similarly priced on these shores.