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Blog Rivian Scores $700M Investment Led By Amazon

Rivian, which recently unveiled prototypes of an all-electric pickup and SUV, has secured a $700 million round of financing led by Amazon.

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

Amazon is hoping Rivian will assist it in its development of delivery vehicles that will bolster its logistics network, Reuters reported, citing a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Amazon and General Motors were considering investments in Rivian. GM’s talks with Rivian continue, Reuters source said.

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos personally reached out to Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe last summer to express interest in an investment, Reuters reported.

The equity round included participation from existing shareholders, which include Saudi auto distributor Abdul Latif Jameel Co, Sumitomo Corp of Americas and Standard Chartered Bank.

The investment comes on the heels of Rivian’s reveal of the all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show in November. The vehicles use the company’s flexible skateboard platform and will be produced at Rivian’s manufacturing plant in Normal, Ill., with customer deliveries expected to start in late 2020.

Rivian says it has developed its vehicles with “adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision.”

The R1T, will seat five passengers, and pack four electric motors. Three battery packs will be offered – a 180 kWh battery that is expected to offer more than 400 miles of range per charge, a 135 kWh option that gives more than 300 miles of range per charge, and a 105 kWh pack, which will give about 230 miles of range per charge.

The entry-level truck will go 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds and the 185 kWh version hits 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. The fastest of the version is the 135 kWh pack, which goes 0-60 mph in 3 seconds flat. Top speed for all three versions is 125 mph. The R1T has a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds.

The R1S will seat seven, feature quad electric motors, go 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds, and carry battery pack options up to 180 kWh for 410 miles of range. The base model starts at $72,500, which is slightly more expensive than the truck’s $69,000 price tag.

“This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility,” Scaringe said in a release. “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.”

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Hopefully this injection of capital helps brings Rivian’s R1T and R1S to market. I’m a fan of Jeep and the lifestyle approach they bring to their wrangler line. I could see a lot of fellow adventurers wanting something like the R1S to replace and/or complement their model S or 3. I currently have a performance 3 and a wrangler rubicon. I could see a R1S replacing both.

I just hope charging network will not be a major issue by the time these vehicles launch. Given the major auto manufacturers focusing on electrifying their product lines, I foresee a lot more development here on a standardized charging network rollout.

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