How Amazon is giving Rivian an edge in the electric car industry

In Tesla’s footsteps, another electric car company has made a name for itself, with a unique spin: Rivian Automotive.

Founded in 2009, Rivian focuses on electric trucks and luxury SUVs with a focus on outdoor adventures. CNBC’s John Rosevier calls them “Patagonia Electric Vehicles.”

Rivian launched its first vehicle, the R1T electric truck, at the end of last year. It has been ramping up production and plans to ship its SUV – the R1S – built from the same platform, later this year.

It’s been a long and hard road to get to this point. But Rivian received some major help, including $700 million from Amazon in 2019 and $500 million from Ford a few months later. At first, Rivian and Ford sought to develop a joint vehicle together, but the two companies ended up scraping those plans.

However, the partnership with Amazon is still on the right track. After its investment, Amazon said it would buy 100,000 custom-built electric delivery trucks, as part of its move to electrify the last mile fleet by 2040.

When Rivian went public in November 2021, it had one of the largest initial public offerings in US history. But the turbulent economy cast a shadow over its rocket success. With the market responding to inflation and fears of a recession, the stock 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 it…but more importantly, put in place a commitment to buy all those cars from them, they changed the market dynamic around that company,” said Mike Ramsey, Gartner Automotive and Intelligent Mobility Analyst.

Last month, Rivian and Amazon rolled out their first electric truck. They have begun delivering packages in a few cities, including Seattle, Baltimore, Chicago, and Phoenix.

Watch the video to find out more.

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