Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos mentioned the corporate has positioned an order for 100,000 electrical supply vans from Michigan-based startup Rivian. The announcement got here throughout an event on Thursday in Washington, DC the place Bezos unveiled Amazon’s sweeping plan to sort out local weather change.
Bezos mentioned he expects 100,000 Rivian vans to be on the highway by 2024, according to USA Today reporter Nathan Bomey. The primary vans will hit the highway in 2021, with prototypes probably arriving as quickly as 2020. Minutes after Bezos’ announcement, Amazon senior vice chairman for operations Dave Clark tweeted a rendering of the vehicle.
Rivian is a comparatively new identify within the electrical automobile trade, having solely debuted its pickup truck and SUV on the finish of November 2018. However the firm has been working in stealth since 2009. Initially based to make one thing that competed with Tesla’s first automotive, the Lotus-based Roadster, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe ultimately pivoted the company toward a more action-adventure customer segment.
Rivian’s major push this 12 months has been a large fundraising effort, with the corporate securing huge investments from a number of main gamers, Amazon included. Bezos’ firm led a $700 million funding spherical final February, nevertheless it didn’t disclose the precise quantity it was contributing. In April, Ford introduced a $500 million funding in Rivian that the businesses mentioned would end in a brand new electrical automobile to be offered by the auto big. Most just lately, Rivian landed a $350 million funding from Cox Automotive, a giant identify within the retail and logistics area.
Rivian has proven off two automobiles thus far: the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV. Constructed on the identical technological platform, Rivian claims its automobiles — which can begin at round $70,000 — will be capable to journey as much as round 400 miles on a single cost, hit 60 miles per hour in beneath three seconds, and ultimately be capable to drive themselves in some capability.
Bezos’ announcement at this time, although, reveals a 3rd automobile in Rivian’s nascent lineup: a supply van. It means that somewhat than focusing completely on the off-road phase, the startup will even be wanting into industrial automobiles.