Plymouth-based EV startup Rivian closes 2019 with $1.3B investment
Plymouth-based electric-vehicle startup Rivian Automotive will close out 2019 with a $1.3 billion influx of cash, the company announced Monday.
A Baltimore-based investment firm, T. Rowe Price, Inc., led the most recent investment round for Rivian, which has only been in the public eye for little more than a year. The automaker announced plans at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show to build an electric pickup truck and an electric SUV inside a former Mitsubishi car plant in Normal, Illinois.
The automaker has received nearly $3 billion in investments in 2019. Amazon.com, Inc. invested $700 million in the company earlier this year. Ford Motor Co. later invested $500 million. In September, Cox Automotive announced a $350 million investment in the company, which has yet to build a vehicle.
"This investment demonstrates confidence in our team, products, technology and strategy," said Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe of the most recent announcement. "We are extremely excited to have the support from such strong shareholders."
Amazon and Rivian in September announced a deal that would have Rivian build 100,000 electric vans for the e-commerce giant. The first batch of vans is expected to hit U.S. roadways by 2021, with 10,000 on the road by late 2022. All 100,000 are to be operating in Amazon's fleet by 2030.
Those vans would be built alongside Rivian's planned R1T pickup and R1S SUV. The start-up automaker says its R1T pickup and R1S SUV will have a 400-mile-plus range, and offer off-road capability. Its base $69,000 model boasts clever "frunk" storage behind the grille and a Tesla-like 105-kWh battery. An upscale, $100,000-plus model would increase that to 180 kWh.
Rivian officials have said the vehicles it builds are aimed at off-road and adventure enthusiasts. The batteries would allow drivers to take their vehicles anywhere traditional gas-powered off-roaders can go.
Experts said that the deal with Amazon would give Rivian the scale it needs to open a manufacturing plant with more than one model. The automaker would have had a tough time selling enough of its SUVs and trucks to sustain business in its first years without the Amazon products.
Rivian in Monday's announcement said no new board seats were added through the T. Rowe Price investment. The automaker plans to start delivering vehicles to customers at the end of 2020.