The Tesla Cybertruck and its cult of personality may be sucking up all the hype in the room, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t somebody else out there with a more thought-out idea on how to build an electric pickup truck. Look no further than Rivian Automotive, which has steadily and smoothly made waves in the industry since the debut of the R1T electric pickup truck and R1S electric SUV. The Michigan-based automaker made big waves earlier this year from a $500 million round of funding coming from Ford Motor Company, $350 million from Cox Automotive, and $700 million from Amazon. But today, Rivian has closed an investment round of $1.3 billion.
The financing was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., while Amazon, Ford Motor Company and funds managed by BlackRock also participated in the round.
It was previously announced that Ford will utilize Rivian’s technology and platforms for upcoming vehicles, while Amazon wants the startup vehicle manufacturer to build 100,000 electric delivery vans.
The Rivian R1T and and Rivian R1S are each expected to deliver over 400 miles miles of range while delivering sportscar levels of acceleration and go-anywhere levels of utility.
The Rivian R1T and R1S represent sensible takes an electric pickup truck and an electric SUV, while these massive rounds of investments further validate the viability of the company and its products. We here at MC&T don’t expect these vehicle, which will run north of $70,000, to directly compete with the likes of the top-selling Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 or Ram 1500 trucks. Instead, we expect these vehicles to attract a different kind of buyer to the truck segment, which we can best envision to be the well-off Silicon Valley tech bro who goes hiking and camping 50-100 miles away from their home on weekends.
Rivian will produce its vehicles in Normal, Illinois in late 2020, effectively beating the Tesla Cybertruck to market.