Tech giant Amazon has led a $700m investment round in electric vehicle firm Rivian.
The news comes following the reveal of Rivian’s launch products, the R1T pick-up and R1S SUV, which were showcased at the LA Auto Show last November.
RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and chief executive, said: “This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility. Beyond simply eliminating compromises that exist around performance, capability and efficiency, we are working to drive innovation across the entire customer experience.
“Delivering on this vision requires the right partners, and we are excited to have Amazon with us on our journey to create products, technology and experiences that reset expectations of what is possible.”
Despite the large investment – equivalent to some £541m – which includes contributions from existing shareholders, Rivian will remain independent. The company, which has development centres in Michigan and California as well as one in Chertsey, Surrey, said no further details of the cash injection would be revealed.
Jeff Wilke, chief executive of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, said: “We’re inspired by Rivian’s vision for the future of electric transportation. RJ has built an impressive organisation, with a product portfolio and technology to match. We’re thrilled to invest in such an innovative company.”
Rivian is pulling no punches on its claims, despite entering a competitive electric vehicle market. It says both the R1T and R1S will boast in excess of 400 miles of range on one charge, while also delivering ‘’an unmatched combination of performance, off-road capability and utility’’.
The firm is aiming to bring both vehicles to the US market in 2020, with a global launch to follow in 2021.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Amazon was among investors putting $530m (circa £410m) into self-driving car start-up Aurora.