CHICAGO, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. electric pickup maker Rivian Automotive LLC has said that it is getting a cash injection totaling 700 million U.S. dollars from Amazon and others.
The investment comes largely from online retail giant Amazon, with "participation from existing shareholders." "This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility," said R.J. Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO, in a statement on Friday.
Amazon, in a separate statement, said it values Rivian's vision.
A tie-up between Rivian and Amazon is a good fit, the Detroit News quoted Michelle Krebs, an automotive analyst for Cox Automotive, as saying. As Amazon looks for ways to reinvent its delivery fleet, Rivian's "electric-powered skateboard concept" offers potential for electric delivery vans.
"The investment is a drop in the bucket for Amazon, but it is huge for Rivian in terms of the amount of money and in terms of raising the profile of Rivian," Krebs said.
Rivian's R1T pickup and R1S SUV will have a 400-mile-plus range, and offer off-road capability, Detroit News reported. The base 69,000-dollar model boasts clever "frunk" storage behind the grille and a Tesla-like 105-kWh battery. An upscale, 100,000-dollar plus model would increase that to 180 kWh. The company plans to build 20,000 units in 2021 in the U.S. state of Illinois, according to the report.