Amazon sinks cash into EV startup Rivian as part of Climate Pledge

Elva Mankin

Amazon delivery vans, courtesy of Rivian, coming soon.


Amazon

This past June, Amazon announced a $2 billion investment as its first step on the road toward becoming a net-zero carbon company by 2040. On Thursday, the online retail giant and technology company revealed the first group of companies that will benefit from the Climate Pledge Fund. Chief among them is electric vehicle startup Rivian.

Amazon didn’t disclose how much Rivian receives in the round of investment, but it said the Climate Pledge Fund “participated in Rivian’s latest investment round in July.” To be clear, this not a separate investment, but a clarification noting the most recent Amazon investment actually came from the Climate Pledge Fund. The monies will further develop and integrate Rivian’s “connected electric platform with Amazon’s last mile delivery network,” Amazon said.

It’s the latest show of support Amazon enacted for Rivian. Amazon previously sank an undisclosed monetary investment into the budding electric carmaker and announced that it will purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from the company. Not any electric vans, but purpose-built and designed vans for Amazon. They look like cute machines and we’ve seen a few behind-the-scenes looks to highlight how Rivian and Amazon are putting delivery drivers as the focus for the new project. Amazon expects the first 10,000 vans to hit the streets and start dropping off packages no later than 2022. The other 90,000 will trickle onto the roads through 2030.

While Rivian works with Amazon, its other projects are coming along. Although the first R1T electric pickups and R1S electric SUVs were supposed to start deliveries this year, the coronavirus pushed the time frame back to next year. Production will take place at a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois.


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