Rivian considers $5 billion EV plant in Texas, document shows

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R.J. Scaringe, Rivian's 35-year-old CEO, introduces his company's R1T all-electric pickup truck at Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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AUSTIN, Texas Aug 11 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) backed electric vehicle (EV) company Rivian is in discussions to invest at least $5 billion in a new vehicle plant near Fort Worth, Texas, a city document showed.

The Fort Worth offer is part of a larger bidding war by state and local officials, particularly in the southern United States, as newer players take on incumbents in a race to develop EVs.

The factory, described in the document as "Project Tera", would create at least 7,500 jobs by 2027 and produce around 200,000 vehicles a year. The plant would be located on a 2,000 acre site west of Fort Worth, the presentation by the city's economic development department showed.

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Workers at the factory would earn a minimum average annual salary of $56,000, according to the document.

California-based Rivian in a statement said it was in discussions with multiple locations as part of a competitive process for what would be its second U.S. factory, but added that those processes did not indicate a final decision.

Bloomberg first reported on the Fort Worth discussions.

To attract the Rivian bid, the city offers grants and tax abatements of up to $440 million, with the document stating that known competitors for the site offer aggressive incentives.

"Incentives (are) important to (the) final decision process," the document says.

Sources previously told Reuters the new factory would include battery cell production, and that it could break ground next year. read more

Rivian is also considering land east of Mesa, Arizona, near Gold Canyon, for its new EV plant. read more

"I'd recommend they get their first plant working. It's insanely difficult to reach volume production at affordable unit cost," Tesla Inc's (TSLA.O) Elon Musk said in a tweet.

The Arizona site likely remained Rivian's preferred location, a second source familiar with the discussions said, but said big incentives from rival sites are "intoxicating – especially if you've never done a project this big."

EV maker Tesla last year secured tax rebates worth around $65 million for its new vehicle and battery plant in Austin, Texas.

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Reporting by Tina Bellon in Austin, Paul Lienert and Ben Klayman in Detroit; editing by Barbara Lewis and Diane Craft

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

U.S.-based business and finance journalist covering Uber, Lyft, Tesla and larger auto and transportation trends with a focus on electrification, tech, safety and regulation. Data-driven reporter with a track record of uncovering corporate strategies through data analysis. Previous work includes breaking news on the U.S. legal team and covering politics and companies from the German bureau.