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Amazon-Backed Rivian Gets $2.5 Billion in Funding
Sustainable automaker Rivian has secured $2.5 billion in its latest funding round run by T. Rowe Price. The investment will allow the company to begin production on a fleet of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles for Amazon. The up-and-coming automaker has yet to produce any vehicles, but this latest investment brings its total haul to $5.4 billion.
Big Win for Rivian
T. Rowe Price led the latest round, which included new investors Soros Fund Management LLC, Fidelity, Coatue, and Baron Capital Group. But these firms join what is already an impressive list of investors. Other investors include Amazon, BlackRock, Ford, and Cox Automotive. All told, Rivian has now managed to acquire $5.4 billion in investments. This is more than any other electric vehicle company has ever been able to amass pre-production. This achievement now puts Rivian, and therefore Amazon, in a position to compete with Tesla, the leading producer of electric vehicles (EVs).
The Company’s Plans
Rivian is currently preparing a factory in Normal, Illinois, to start production on its EVs this year. By 2021, the company will start delivering zero-emission pick-ups, SUVs, and Amazon delivery trucks. The R1T pickup and R1S SUV will be able to travel 400 miles on one charge. The vehicles will cost $68,000 and $72,500, respectively.
The Amazon delivery trucks will work on a “skateboard” model. This means the battery pack, drive components, and suspension systems will all be housed in a single, long platform, resembling a skateboard. The design is streamlined and extremely efficient.
Because of a 100,000-vehicle deal with Amazon, Rivian should have no revenue problems upon launch. This has investors feeling hopeful and secure in supporting the company. Still, it won’t be the only EV company entering the pick-up game in 2021.
The Electric Truck Race Gets Crowded
In 2021, Rivian, Tesla, and startup Nikola will all introduce an electric pick-up to the market. In an industry that barely existed a few years ago, there are now three strong players.
Nikola not only stole Tesla’s bang, but also its name, when it started producing electric vehicles and semi-trucks. However, Nikola’s design for the Badger pick-up is quite different from Tesla’s Cybertruck in design and aesthetic. The Badger, which looks like a slightly upgraded version of a non-electric pick-up, goes for $60,000 to $80,000 (depending on options). The vehicle will be able to travel 300 miles per charge. Meanwhile, Tesla’s Cybertruck ranges from around $40,000 to $70,000, with a miles-per-charge range between 250 and 500 miles. These specs leave Rivian right in the middle.
As of Tuesday pre-trading, Tesla is down $47.59 (3.08%) and Nikola is down $0.29 (0.53%).