E-commerce giant Amazon has led a $700 million investment round in Rivian, a direct competitor to Elon Musk’s Tesla which hopes to produce a consumer-level electric pickup truck.
In a recent press release, Rivian announced that following the reveal of the company’s all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show last November, Amazon has led a $700 million investment round in the company. Breitbart News previously reported that auto manufacturer General Motors expressed interest in investing in Rivian alongside Amazon.
In a statement, GM said: “We admire Rivian’s contribution to a future of zero emissions and an all-electric future,” but did not further elaborate on the status of their deal with the electric car manufacturer. In August, Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussed the possibilities of Tesla producing its own electric pickup truck stating that the idea is “probably my personal favorite for the next product.” Musk added that a pickup truck model would not be considered until the company had produced their Model Y vehicle which is scheduled to start production in 2020.
The company’s launch products, the R1T and R1S, reportedly deliver up to 400+ miles of range and have a heavy focus on off-road capabilities and utility. Deliveries of the vehicles to consumers are expected to begin in the year 2020. Rivian founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe, said in a statement:
“This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility. 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.”
Jeff Wilke, the CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, commented on Amazon’s investment stating: “We’re inspired by Rivian’s vision for the future of electric transportation. RJ has built an impressive organization, with a product portfolio and technology to match. We’re thrilled to invest in such an innovative company.”
With the backing of Amazon and the possible support of General Motors, Rivian is fast becoming a serious competitor to Tesla.