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Amazon invests heavily in electric cars - with ulterior motives

Amazon invests heavily in electric cars - with ulterior motives

Rivian builds a pickup that could hardly be more American: big, conspicuous and powerful. However, one thing distinguishes the car from many others: It is completely electrically driven. This argument is enough to raise hundreds of millions of dollars of fresh capital - mainly from Amazon and General Motors.

Both companies are involved to a large extent in Rivian and the electric pickup - and not without ulterior motives, especially in the case of Amazon. The online shopping giant hopes that Rivian can help develop electric cars for its supply chain. VentureBeat reports this with reference to an internal source at Amazon.

The first talks about boosting Rivian had already become known last week. With the 700 million dollars that are to flow from the current financing round, Rivian's valuation rises to a total of up to 4 billion dollars - no cardboard stick for a startup that still has no finished electric car to offer.

rivian r1t pickup electtic 2019 11
Electrically through the dirt - with the pickup from Rivian / © Rivian

Rivian is alone in the niche - still

The outstanding feature of Rivian is the niche it occupies. A purely electric pickup is not yet available on the market, nor is there one in sight among the major manufacturers. Pickups are particularly popular in the US thanks to their size and versatility, and when these advantages become more environmentally friendly with an electric drive, they are likely to be very popular with the corresponding groups of buyers.

However, Rivian is facing competition even before it really starts. Elon Musk recently announced that Tesla is also working on an electrically powered pickup, which will be launched next year at the latest. The technical basis for this is probably the Model X, the SUV from Tesla. Should Tesla actually enter the field of electric pickups, this should not be good for Rivian's prospects of success - and thus also for investors such as Amazon and General Motors.

Would you be interested in an all-electric pickup truck? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Venturebeat

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  • Unlike Tesla, or the traditional carmakers, Amazon would have more than a simple vendor/buyer relationship with a lot of potential truck fleet customers, e.g. delivery services: Amazon is also a huge and sometimes their largest single customer.