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NowCar Amazon EV Startup Rivian

Amazon-Backed EV Startup Rivian Automotive Gets Huge Investment

Written By, Jordan R

Hybrids, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), electric vehicles (EVs), and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) – this is the future of the automotive industry. Whether it’s about global warming, the eventual run down of fossil fuel resources, or having cleaner air with less carbon emissions floating around, alternative fuel vehicles are steadily starting to spread throughout the auto market. They may still be a niche, and some brands are still sluggish to release any of the above variants, but BEVs especially, which are just another way to talk about EVs, will soon become a cornerstone of the industry. Even worldwide retailer Amazon is getting in on the ground floor with Rivian Automotive, a well-funded electric vehicle startup backed by Amazon.

This isn’t just some Hail Mary for Amazon to get involved with electric vehicles, seeing as how the conglomerate has a hand in just about every other industry market. Amazon may be the main investor for Rivian, but the startup held another round of investments, allowing other investors to buy-in to fund the startup. What they get in return depends on the investor. The most recent round of investment was led by T. Rowe Price, with a total of $2.65 billion. In 2020, the same investor participated with an investment of $2.5 billion. This year, they were joined by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Fidelity Coatue, and D1 Capital Partners.

With the two investments by T. Rowe Price, and the funds backing Rivian from Amazon, the startup has at least $8 billion in funding, more than any previous U.S. automotive startup today. A lot of great things are already expected from Rivian, with electric models as the main focus. By the middle of this year, 2021, Rivian Automotive will be using a refurbished auto plant in Normal, Illinois to produce its first electric models - battery-powered pickups, SUVs, and delivery vans. Deliveries of these vehicles will follow, but whether private orders or found at dealerships is left to be discussed.

“This is a critical year for us as we are launching the R1T, the R1S and the Amazon commercial delivery vehicles…The support and confidence of our investors enables us to remain focused on these launches while simultaneously scaling our business for our next stage of growth.” - founder and CEO RJ Scaringe

Scaringe founded Rivian Automotive with a goal to build vehicles that are rugged, luxurious, and battery powered. It’s not a far-off feat with recent development in the world of electric vehicles. Take a look at Mercedes-Benz, the epitome of luxury sedans, SUVs, and coupes. Mercedes-Benz recently revealed the Mercedes-Benz EQS, the automaker’s very first all-electric vehicle. In addition, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance have announced the proposed production of mini EV cars, starting in Japan. Kia Motors also revealed its EV6 battery-electric vehicle, riding on an all-new electric platform E-GMP, designed specifically for all of the automaker’s future electric vehicles. This BEV can accelerate from 0-60 in just 3.5 seconds.

It’s a nice target for Rivian Automotive, and with plans to be in strong competition with all-electric automaker Tesla, primarily in the electric pickup truck segment. Rivian Automotive will pit the traditionally-styled R1T against the polarizing Tesla Cybertruck. With pickups and SUVs saturating the market, Rivian’s revenue stream will quickly benefit in the early years of the company. Word has it that Rivian Automotive already has Amazon’s order for 100,000 electric delivery vans on the assembly line. Maybe electric self-driving Amazon delivery vans are next. Stay up to date with news about electric vehicles and EV technology when you follow us on NowCar social media.