After rumors earlier this week that GM and Amazon were interested in Rivian, an electric pickup and SUV maker, the company has now confirmed that they are closing a $700 million round of funding led by Amazon.
Amazon is leading the round and Rivian confirms that it includes “participation from existing shareholders”, but there’s no mention of any involvement by GM as previously rumored.
RJ Scaringe, Rivian Founder and CEO, commented on today’s financing announcement:
“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.”
Rivian is Amazon’s second big investment in the auto industry this month alone.
We reported last week that Amazon invested in self-driving startup Aurora.
Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer, commented on the new investment in Rivian:
“We’re inspired by Rivian’s vision for the future of electric transportation. RJ has built an impressive organization, with a product portfolio and technology to match. We’re thrilled to invest in such an innovative company.”
Last year, Rivian unveiled its first two electric vehicles, a pickup truck and an SUV built on the same platform.
We took a closer look at Rivian’s R1T all-electric pickup truck, which is equipped with 4 electric motors, each a 147 kW power capacity at the wheel, while the total power output can be configured to different levels from 300 kW to 562 kW (input to gearbox).
The different power levels match different choices of battery packs, which are another impressive feature since they have the highest capacity of any other passenger electric vehicle out there: 105 kWh, 135 kWh, and 180 kWh.
Rivian says that it will translate to “230+ miles, 300+ miles, and 400+ miles” of range on a full charge.
They’re talking about a charge rate of up to 160 kW at fast-charging stations and an 11-kW onboard charger for level 2 charging.
The base model is expected to start at $69,000 before incentives and the company aims to start production in late 2020.