After New Funding Round, Rivian Ends the Year Flush

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
after new funding round rivian ends the year flush

An electric vehicle platform many can’t wait to get their hands on continues to make Rivian the upstart automaker to watch. The fledgling, Michigan-based automaker just closed a $1.3 billion investment round led by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. — pushing the company’s 2019 take to $2.8 billion.

With two utility vehicles on the way and a pledge to license its EV architecture to anyone willing to pay for it, Rivian’s big-buck backing from the likes of Ford, Amazon, and Cox Automotive was just the start.

For the record, Amazon and Ford also participated in the most recent round of funding via their own fund manager. Earlier this year, Amazon ponied up $700 million for Rivian, with Ford coming along and offering a half-billion dollars of its own. Cox’s investment amounted to $350 million.

“This investment demonstrates confidence in our team, products, technology and strategy – we are extremely excited to have the support from such strong shareholders,” said Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe in a statement.

It didn’t take long before product promises sprung up in the wake of the earlier rounds of funding. In September, Amazon announced an order of 100,000 electric delivery vans from the company, with Ford tapping the startup for a jointly developed EV crossover. More recently, a report arose that a Lincoln crossover to be introduced in mid-2022 will ride atop Rivian’s “skateboard” platform. A Ford-badged twin could also be in the wings.

“As we continue in our transformation of Ford with new forms of intelligent vehicles and propulsion, this partnership with Rivian brings a fresh approach to both,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said last April. “At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources.”

While the partnership with Ford and Amazon no doubt boosted Rivian’s investor appeal, the company’s decision to license its platform to any and all automakers likely served to supercharge its attractiveness to investors.

Starting in late 2020, Rivian plans to build its R1T pickup and R1S SUV at a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois, with the loftiest variant of each expected to reach 400 miles of range. In a display of what four independent electric motors can do for drivers, Rivian released a video on Christmas of an R1T performing a “tank turn” — a near-stationary 180 accomplished by having the port wheels full ahead and the starboard wheels full astern.

Tank Turn. Available on the R1T and R1S :)

— Rivian (@Rivian) December 25, 2019

[Image: Rivian]

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3 of 18 comments
  • Kosmo Kosmo on Dec 27, 2019

    A few lines of code to perform, a few more to "sense" when there is too much traction to allow damage-free execution. This is gonna be fun in ski area parking lots!!!

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Dec 28, 2019

      In tight quarters I generally recommend counter-clockwise tank turns - easier to gauge clearance for the more-cantilevered back end.

  • Tele Vision Tele Vision on Dec 27, 2019

    Put a wee Diesel engine and fuel tank somewhere in it - then take my money.

  • Malcolm Mini temporarily halted manual transmission production but brought it back as it was a surprisingly good seller. The downside is that they should have made awd standard with the manual instead of nixing it. Ford said recently that 4dr were 7% manual take rate and I think the two door was 15%.
  • Master Baiter It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. It will be interesting to see if demand for Ford’s EVs will match the production capacity they are putting on line.
  • Brett Woods 2023 Corvette base model.
  • Paul Taka Hi, where can I find 1982 Honda prelude junkyards in 50 states
  • Poltergeist Make sure you order the optional Dungdai fire suppression system.