Following in Tesla’s footsteps, another electric vehicle company is making a name for itself with a unique spin: Rivian Automotive.
Founded in 2009, Rivian focuses on high-quality electric trucks and SUVs with a focus on outdoor adventures. CNBC’s John Rosevear calls them the “Patagonia of electric vehicles.”
Rivian launched its first vehicle, the R1T electric truck, late last year. It is working to increase production and plans to deliver its SUV – the R1S – built on the same platform, later this year.
It’s been a long and hard road to get to this point. But Rivian got a lot of help, including $700 million from Amazon in 2019 and $500 million from Ford a few months later. Rivian and Ford initially tried to develop a joint vehicle together, but the companies eventually scrapped those plans.
However, the Amazon partnership is still on the way. Following its investment, Amazon said it would purchase 100,000 custom-built electric delivery vans as part of its effort to electrify its last-mile fleet by 2040.
When Rivian went public in November 2021, it had one of the largest IPOs in US history. But a turbulent economy cast a shadow over its spectacular success. As the market reacted to inflation and recession fears, stocks took a big hit. But with the Amazon deal secured, some are confident the electric car maker can weather the storm.
“When Amazon invested in them … but more importantly, made a commitment to buy all of these vehicles from them, they changed the market dynamics around that company,” said Mike Ramsey, automotive and smart mobility analyst at Gartner.
Last month, Rivian and Amazon launched the first of the electric vans. They are starting to deliver packages to several cities, including Seattle, Baltimore, Chicago, and Phoenix.
Watch the video to find out more.