- tech giant amazon is leading an investment of $700 million into rivian, an ev startup that unveiled its first vehicles late last year, automotive news reported.
- rivian plans to start producing the all-electric r1t pickup truck and r1s suv at a plant in normal, illinois, starting in 2020.
- deliveries of the first product, the pickup, are expected at the end of next year.
update 9/19/19: amazon has placed an order for 100,000 rivian electric delivery vans, according to a reporter on twitter. amazon ceo jeff bezos reportedly said that prototype vans may arrive as soon as 2020, with the first vans hitting public roads in 2021 and all 100,000 in service by 2024.
rivian's ambitious plans just got a boost in legitimacy thanks to a major investment led by amazon. the $700 million in funding does not include money from general motors, as was previously rumored; according to automotive news, it does also involve alj, a saudi company that had previously invested in rivian.
the company is not sharing many details about the investment for now. rivian founder r.j. scaringe said in a statement, "this investment is an important milestone for rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility."
the current road map for rivian includes the launch of two all-electric models, both of which were unveiled at the 2018 los angeles auto show. the r1t pickup truck will be first, with its launch expected in late 2020, and the r1s suv will follow. both use a dedicated electric platform with a large battery pack mounted under the floor. range estimates start at around 230 miles and go up to 400 miles for the largest, 180.0-kwh battery-pack option. all-wheel drive is standard, and the company claims a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds for the r1t and 7716 pounds for the r1s.
rivian has announced that production will begin next year at its facility in normal, illinois—a plant previously occupied by mitsubishi. the company hasn't made announcements about how it plans to sell vehicles, whether it be through a dealer network or through a direct-sales model like tesla. stay tuned for more to come from rivian as we learn about what this new car company plans to do with all this newfound cash.