Amazon Invests $700M in Rivian Electric Trucks, SUVs

SUV, truck
Rivian electric SUV, front, and electric pickup truck, 2018 (Photo courtesy Rivian)


PLYMOUTH, Michigan, February 15, 2019 (ENS) – There’s a new electric vehicle manufacturer in the United States and it’s about to roll out new electric trucks and SUVs with a big investment from Amazon.

Rivian, based in Plymouth, Friday announced an equity investment round of US$700 million led by Amazon. The investment follows Rivian’s reveal of its all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November.

SUV, truck
Rivian’s first electric SUV, the R1S, front, and electric pickup truck, the R1T, 2019 (Photo courtesy Rivian)

The company’s launch products, the R1T and R1S, deliver 400+ miles of range and provide a combination of performance, off-road capability and utility.

These vehicles use the company’s flexible skateboard platform, which efficiently packages the battery pack, drive units, suspension, braking and thermal system below the height of the wheel, leaving the space above for occupants and their gear.

Rivian’s vehicles feature a quad-motor system that delivers 147kW with precise torque control to each wheel, enabling maximum performance in every situation, from high-speed cornering to low-speed rock crawling.

The trucks and SUVs can both reach 60 miles per hour in three seconds and 100 mph in less than seven seconds. Approximately 200 miles of range can be added in 30 minutes of charging.

The new electric vehicles will be produced at Rivian’s manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois, with customer deliveries expected to start in late 2020.

“This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility,” said R.J. Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO.

“Beyond simply eliminating compromises that exist around performance, capability and efficiency, we are working to drive innovation across the entire customer experience,” Scaringe said.

“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,” the Rivian chief said.

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.

“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’s brand new R1T all-electric pickup truck (Photo courtesy Rivian)

Rivian has developed its vehicles with adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision. Scaringe says the company is developing vehicles, technology and services that inspire people to get out and explore the world.

“I started Rivian to deliver products that the world didn’t already have – to redefine expectations through the application of technology and innovation,” Scaringe said.

“Starting with a clean sheet, we have spent years developing the technology to deliver the ideal vehicle for active customers,” he explained. “This means having great driving dynamics on any surface on- or off-road, providing cargo solutions to easily store any type of gear, whether it’s a surfboard or a fishing rod and, very importantly, being capable of driving long distances on a single charge.”

Rivian’s new electric vehicles are equipped for autonomous operation. The R1T and R1S will launch with a robust hardware suite with multiple modalities including camera, lidar, radar, ultrasonic and a high precision GPS coupled with high definition maps. This hardware enables “Level 3,” hands-off wheel and eyes off road, autonomy for highway operation.

With a team of more than 750 people, Rivian has development centers in Plymouth, Michigan; San Jose and Irvine, California; and Surrey, England; along with a 2.6-million-square-foot manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois.

Rivian is now accepting preorders on its R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV. R1T pricing starts at $61,500 after the federal tax credit. R1S pricing starts at $65,000 after the federal tax credit.

The automaker plans to launch the R1T and R1S in the United States in late 2020, with introduction to other areas starting in 2021.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2019. All rights reserved.


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