Amazon and GM are making big investments into electric pickup startup, Rivian Automotive.
We don’t have the full details of the deal, but according to sources speaking with Reuters, both Amazon and GM are preparing to invest in electric pickup and SUV maker Rivian. They value the company at between $1-$2 billion, with both companies getting non-controlling stakes in the electric truck maker.
The deal could be announced as early as this month, however, nothing is yet set in stone.
While Rivian plans to start deliveries of the R1T electric pickup starting later in 2020, they’ve also made it clear they’re marketing their all-electric platform for use in other company’s vehicles. Called an electric “skateboard,” Rivians platform contains all the important mechanical components of a battery-only vehicle. Electric motors, battery pack, wheels, suspension, brakes, and cooling are all already present, with the only thing left to be added being the body and interior of the vehicle.
“We admire Rivian’s contribution to a future of zero emissions and an all-electric future,” GM told Reuters in a statement. Both Amazon and Rivian declined to comment.
Most other electric carmakers have thus far ignored the electric pickup market, betting that truck lovers would be slow to embrace an electric platform in favor of a gas-guzzling V8 engine. Only Tesla is known to have an electric pickup in development, although Ford is rumored to be working on electrifying their F-150.
With their investment, GM could use Rivian’s platform to create their own fleet of electric pickups. Currently, GM is known to be working on a new electric SUV which will debut under the Cadillac brand. Little is known about the upcoming luxury SUV besides the fact it will use GM’s BEV3 electric platform.
The reasoning behind Amazon’s investment is less clear. It could just be that Amazon is making a sound investment with its capital, or they could also have plans for Rivian’s technology. Amazon is known to be working on self-driving cars, so it could be that the online retailer will use the R1T in their upcoming autonomous vehicle fleet.