Did you watch Jeff Bezos’ space ride? If yes, you might have witnessed Jeff Bezos and his fellow astronauts zipping through to the Blue Origin launch site in an electric SUV. That’s an R1S electric SUV manufactured by the US-based electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian.
Well, the reason behind the car company loaned the pre-production R1S vehicle is that Amazon is one of the largest investors with $700M in the company. Additionally, the company has reportedly ordered 100,000 vehicles to fill last-mile delivery and shipping needs for its Prime delivery service.
A week after this event, Michigan-based electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian has closed another $2.5B (approx €2.1B) private funding round. The round was led by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, D1 Capital Partners, and Ford Motor Company.
This round included participation by Third Point, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Dragoneer Investment Group, and Coatue.
The private round comes six months after securing $2.65B (approx €2.24B) from Fidelity Management and Research Company, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Coatue, and D1 Capital Partners. So far, the company has raised $10.5B (approx €8.9B) since 2019.
“As we near the start of vehicle production, it’s vital that we keep looking forward and pushing through to Rivian’s next phase of growth,” says Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe. “This infusion of funds from trusted partners allows Rivian to scale new vehicle programs, expand our domestic facility footprint, and fuel international product rollout.”
Accelerating sustainable mobility
Founded by RJ Scaringe in 2009, Rivian develops products and services to advance the shift to sustainable mobility. The US company has developed a connected electric platform that can be integrated into a range of applications including, the company’s adventure products as well as B2B products such as the Amazon last-mile delivery vans.
So far, the company has launched Rivian R1T, a 5-passenger pickup truck, and R1S, a 7-passenger SUV. The vehicles will be produced at Rivian’s manufacturing plant in Normal, Ill., with customer deliveries expected to begin in fall 2021.
Rivian in Europe
Earlier this month, the US-based automotive technology company confirmed its plans for Europe. According to the company, R1S and R1T will go on sale in Europe, with orders opening in Early 2022.
This information comes from Rivian Owners Forum after the Rivian Customer Engagement Centre emailed the following to a potential customer in Europe.
According to the forum, “Rivian’s plans for Europe have been under speculation for the past few months when it was reported that they were looking for factory locations in the United Kingdom, Germany and Hungary along with the job posting to hire a “Senior Analyst, EMEA Delivery & Field Planning” (EMEA = Europe, Middle East & Africa”. There was also a rumour that there could be smaller Rivian models for European and Chinese markets. With deliveries in the United States set to begin this July and Canadian deliveries in November, early 2022 would make sense for Rivian to open orders up to European customers.”
The company is also planning to go public once it has started deliveries and proven it is well-established. According to Reuters, the company is expected to seek a valuation of well over $50B during the public listings.
Further, Rivian has said it is exploring building a second US assembly plant – Project Tera. The US company is planning to test drive the electric delivery vans in 16 cities by the end of 2021.