Europe to get locally-made Rivian van before Rivian compact SUV – Report

Rivian is scouting for a potential production site in Europe. UK, Germany, and Hungary are among the countries in consideration to establish the factory, reports Bloomberg. As per the business publication’s sources, this plant is likely to first roll out a delivery van for Amazon and then produce passenger models. Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian and expects deliveries of the first 10,000 units globally by 2022.

Commercial real estate service provider firm JLL has been delegated to find the Rivian production site in Europe, it is reported. The California-based EV company is hopeful of beginning the Rivian van production at this site next year. With real estate advisers’ service, it is even searching for retail space in the Old Continent to display vehicles. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Rivian could become a listed company as soon as September this year at a valuation of approximately $50 billion.

On the Rivian compact SUV

Late last year, it was reported that the Amazon- and Ford-backed American startup company plans to enter Europe and China, which are expected to be the world’s biggest EV markets this decade. Currently, Rivian is present in the U.S. and Canada.

Speaking to in November 2020, Robert Joseph Scaringe, Founder and CEO, Rivian, said that Rivian is working on smaller models that are fit for new markets. The Rivian R1S SUV and the Rivian R1T are simply too big for most countries outside North America. The company plans to launch the Rivian R1S in Europe and China anyway, in 2022. However, it expects “follow-on products” to “really drive volume” there:

We wouldn’t be serious about building a car company if we weren’t thinking about China and Europe as important markets long term.

Robert Joseph Scaringe, Founder and CEO, Rivian

Compact and sub-compact SUVs are the best-selling SUVs in Europe. Compact SUVs hold relatively higher potential in the U.S., and so, the company could introduce a Rivian compact SUV competing with the likes of VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq to attack the European EV market. The Rivian compact SUV could work well in making the brand more accessible in the U.S. as well. Here, it would rival the Fisker Ocean, which is scheduled to enter production in Q4 2022.

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China and Europe are expected to be the biggest volume drivers for electric vehicles this decade. Volkswagen Group, for instance, expects China to be its biggest EV market until 2030, followed by European countries, and then the U.S. at the third position. Scaringe sees the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck and the Rivian R1S electric SUV as the brand’s “halo products”. Prices of these models start at $75,000 and $77,500 respectively.

Volkswagen Group EV market sales
Companies see Europe and China as the biggest EV markets worldwide this decade. Image source: Volkswagen

Production of the Rivian electric pickup truck R1T will begin in June this year. Two months later, in August, the electric SUV R1S will enter production. The electric delivery van will begin rolling out late this year.