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$700 Million Is How Much Rivian Adds To Bank Account

Technology / 8 Comments

Time to build some all-electric pickup trucks.

Last week we reported that General Motors, along with Amazon, was reportedly holding secret talks with electric pickup truck company Rivian. Both were interested in investing in the Michigan-based company, which makes the R1T all-electric truck. CNBC reports that Amazon is the one leading an investment round of $700 million in Rivian, which comes less than three months after the automaker revealed the R1T and the R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show. So what about GM? Has it decided not to invest in Rivian at all?

CNBC claims that a well-placed source involved in the negotiations said that "you don't find all the presents under the Christmas tree," hinting that there's something else in the works. An announcement could be made this April at the New York Auto Show where Rivian is already scheduled to hold a press conference.

But why does Amazon, an e-commerce giant, have any interest in Rivian? No exact reason was given, but it's possible Amazon sees Rivian's EV platform as being suitable for future delivery needs. "We're inspired by Rivian's vision for the future of electric transportation," said Jeff Wilke, Amazon's worldwide consumer CEO. "RJ (Rivian founder RJ Scaringe) has built an impressive organization, with a product portfolio and technology to match. We're thrilled to invest in such an innovative company."

Meanwhile, both Tesla and Ford are at work developing all-electric pickup trucks of their own, though Tesla is expected to unveil its first. Rivian previously announced plans to begin selling the R1T truck and R1S SUV in 2020 followed by overseas sales getting underway in 2021.

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Both will offer 180 kWh battery packs – nearly twice the size of Tesla's largest pack, which is good for a range of 400 miles. Scaringe also claims performance will rival that of the Tesla Model X with Ludicrous Mode, with both vehicles capable of hitting 60 mph in 3 seconds, a top speed of 125 mph, and a towing capacity of up to 11,000 pounds.

With Amazon now in the game, GM potentially about to invest, and Ford and Tesla well underway in EV truck development, it's fair to say the EV truck wars have begun.