Electric vehicle startup Rivian gets US$2.5B in added funding

25 Janvier, 2021, 09:06 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Rivian Automotive Inc. R1T electric pickup truck

Electric vehicle startup Rivian says it has raised another $2.5 billion in funding from accounts advised by investment firm T. Rowe Price. The new funding round is the second big investment round led by Rivian.

The startup has a contract with Amazon to build 100,000 electric delivery vans, starting next year at its factory - a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois.

Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe has been working with the company's team of engineers to create a series of electric vehicles that are capable of handling rough, rocky, and unusual outdoor terrain while remaining sustainable and giving drivers high performance. That term usually describex vehicles that can drive themselves but only when road conditions are favorable. Rivian is readying a custom delivery van developed for Amazon as well as two consumer-focused SUV and pickup truck models.

All of Rivian's vehicles are based on what the startup refers to as its "skateboard" platform.

The R1T will come in three different variants, all sporting different battery packs.

As part of its investment in Rivian, e-commerce giant Amazon, which led a $700 million investment in Rivian in Feb 2019 along with US automaker Ford, plans to add Rivian's electric vehicles to its delivery fleet.

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The battery-powered vehicle venture now has raised roughly $5.3 billion since past year. That deal was in addition to a $700 million investment from Amazon that was announced in February 2019.

A universal chassis also provides certain manufacturing efficiencies.

Analysts: "The days of Tesla's virtually unchallenged dominance may be numbered". The vans will reportedly feature several Amazon-specific systems including Alexa and the online retailer's logistics management software. The e-commerce giant also requested Rivian's services to develop an electric delivery van that would reduce the carbon footprint left by combustion engine delivery vehicles.

-In December, Rivian closed an investment round of $1.3 billion. Sources this week told Reuters that Amazon also plans to offer at least $100 million in stock awards to Zoox employees in order to retain the startup's talent. Amazon, which placed orders previous year, said it would start making deliveries with Rivian vehicles by 2021.

As part of its investment in Rivian, automaker Ford was planning to use a Rivian-designed skateboard platform for future electric models, including the first all-electric version of the F-150 pickup and for an luxury electric SUV under Ford's luxury division Lincoln.

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