Electric truck manufacturer Rivian gets huge boost from Amazon

Rivian announces $700m investment round and order for 100,000 trucks from Amazon

Rivian R1T. [Photo Credit Ben Moon]

Rivian has announced an equity investment round of $700M led by Amazon. The investment comes on the heels of Rivian's reveal of the all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show last November and sits alongside investment from auto giant Ford.

Its R1T and R1S vehicles, deliver up to 400+ miles of range and will be produced at Rivian's manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois, with customer deliveries expected to start in late 2020 but Amazon will be more interested in Rivian’s electric delivery trucks.

Amazon has placed an order for 100,000 of these. Although little detail has yet emerged it is expected that they will use Rivian’s electric vehicle platform and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said that he expects the vehicles to join fleets in 2021. The plan is to have 10,000 on the road by 2022 and all 100,000 in operation by 2030, which is ambitious but reputedly Rivian’s plant has the capacity to produce up to 350,000 units per year, as it is a major factory formerly owned by Mitsubishi. The major constraint coul well be the supply of key materials, such as Nickel and lithium.

Speaking about the investment, RJ Scaringe, Rivian Founder and CEO said, "This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility. Beyond simply eliminating compromises that exist around performance, capability and efficiency, we are working to drive innovation across the entire customer experience. Delivering on this vision requires the right partners, and we are excited to have Amazon with us on our journey to create products, technology and experiences that reset expectations of what is possible."

"We're inspired by Rivian's vision for the future of electric transportation," said Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer. "RJ has built an impressive organization, with a product portfolio and technology to match. We're thrilled to invest in such an innovative company."

Rivian will remain an independent company. Amazon is leading the round, which includes participation from existing shareholders. Additional details about this investment are not being disclosed at this time.

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