Rivian Is Working on Six EVs and an Undisclosed Amazon Project

The electric vehicle startup is focusing on pickup trucks and SUVs

Amazon invested in electric vehicle startup Rivian. Now they're working on an undisclosed project.
Amazon invested in electric vehicle startup Rivian. Now they're working on an undisclosed project.

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The most promising electric vehicle company today isn’t Tesla. It’s newcomer Rivian.

The startup is now backed by Amazon, which recently led a $700 million funding round, and is planning on launching six different vehicles by 2025 with an exclusive focus on pickup trucks and SUVs. And that’s not even the most auspicious sign.

Rivian will also be making models for other companies, one of which is “related to the Amazon deal, but not necessarily a vehicle,” founder R.J. Scaringe told Bloomberg at this week’s New York auto show. In other words, it’s now clear that Amazon wasn’t simply looking for an investment opportunity. The company was looking to get access to Rivian’s expertise and technology.

Scaringe kept mum on specifics of the Amazon project (Is it a delivery vehicle? A drone? A better battery for all their surveillance smarthome devices?). He was more open about the potential partnership with General Motors that recently fell through.

“In general, my reason for starting Rivian was to do big things without anything preventing us from doing that,” Scaringe told Bloomberg, though he declined to attribute that “anything” to GM specifically.

So far, Rivian has announced the R1T truck and R1S SUV, both of which will be built at a former Mitsubishi Motors Corp. factory in Normal, Illinois. Like Tesla before it, Rivian is offering pre-orders for a $1,000 deposit, and with Amazon’s backing it looks like they’ll have no problem getting them ready for sale by fall 2020.

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