Rivian raises new $1.3bn as Amazon & Ford bump stake in Tesla rival

Electrical automotive maker Rivian is sitting on one other $1.3 billion, after closing a new funding spherical with current backers Amazon, Ford, and others upping their investments. The automaker broke cowl in 2018, revealing each an electrical pickup truck, the Rivian R1T, and a seven-seater SUV, the Rivian R1S, as the primary fashions to make use of its versatile modular structure.

Each EVs depend on what Rivian refers to as its “skateboard” structure, successfully the underlying drivetrain of the electrical pickup and SUV. That packages collectively the electrical motors, batteries, brakes, and different electronics right into a single unit, to which Rivian can apply totally different physique types.

Whereas the primary two merchandise the automaker plans to launch in late 2020 are a big pickup and an enormous SUV, subsequently, the skateboard structure really affords the potential to be way more versatile. By adjusting the battery pack dimension and what number of motors are included, for instance, Rivian might provide totally different ranges and the selection of all-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or front-wheel drive. It might additionally make totally different sizes of auto, and goal totally different worth factors.

It’s a technique that caught the eye of quite a lot of high-profile backers. Rivian kicked off 2019 with a $700 million funding round led by retail behemoth Amazon; that was adopted in April by a $500 million funding with Ford. On the identical time, Rivian and Ford introduced they’d be collaborating on a new Ford group product utilizing the skateboard platform. That’s now anticipated to be a Lincoln electric SUV.

September noticed $350 million from Cox Automotive, after which later that month Rivian inked an enormous cope with Amazon. The retailer plans to co-develop electric delivery vans with Rivian, and order 100,000 in whole to be delivered from 2021.

All in all it’s been a stable yr for the EV startup, and it’s closing that out with much more funding. Led by funds and accounts suggested by T. Rowe Value Associates, the $1.3 billion whole comes in half from Amazon, Ford Motor Firm, and funds managed by BlackRock.

“This investment demonstrates confidence in our team, products, technology and strategy,” RJ Scaringe, founder and CEO of Rivian, stated of the information, “we are extremely excited to have the support from such strong shareholders.”

Rivian isn’t speaking about additional particulars of the funding, such as how a lot every of the person contributors are contributing. Neither is it including any board seats.

Actually, the electrical automotive area isn’t missing in new gamers hoping to carve out a bit of the market, a lot in the best way that Tesla has. All the identical there’s an enormous hole between having a good suggestion for an EV and with the ability to produce it – and accomplish that at scale. That’s one thing which has proved trickier than anticipated for high-profile corporations like Faraday Future. Rivian clearly has the arrogance of big-name backers; now it simply must reveal it may get its automobiles off manufacturing strains and into buyer garages.

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