Tesla rival Rivian gets big investment from Amazon

AmazonAn electric truck that’s just as tough? Amazon hopes so.

Image: rivian

Amazon is on a spending spree.

Last week the online retailer invested in self-driving vehicle startup Aurora. On Friday, it announced it was the main investor in an upcoming all-electric truck and SUV company, Rivian.

Amazon leads a group investing $700 million in the company, which debuted itsR1T pickup and R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show in November.

Amazon wants better delivery and logistics, making the electric technology that gives Rivian vehicles more than 400 miles of range very appealing. In a statement, Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO of Worldwide Consumer, said, “We’re inspired by Rivian’s vision for the future of electric transportation.”

Aurora
The R1S SUV is a tougher Tesla Model X.

Image: Rivian

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe has called his vehicles the Patagonia of EVs, able to handle snow, mud, rain, and tough roads, but still stylish and premium with space for gear. Prices start at $69,000 for the “electric adventure vehicles,” and you can preorder the truck and SUV for a $1,000 deposit.

An Amazon spokesperson said it wasn’t giving any additional information beyond Rivian’s announcement.

Production of the five-seater truck and seven-passenger SUV is set to begin in 2020 at the company’s Illinois factory. It’s in something of a race with Tesla, who has been teasing an electric pickup truck that could be unveiled as early as this summer. Tesla is also developing an electric semi cargo truck.

UPDATE: Feb. 15, 2019, 1:59 p.m. PST This story has been updated to include pricing for the Rivian truck and SUV. An original version incorrectly said those numbers weren’t available yet. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/amazon-invests-rivian-electric-truck-suv/

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