There’s just something Bezos likes about a pickup plan.
At the same time Amazon is leaving New York City, it’s driving full force into the pickup-truck space. The colossal company is the main player in a new $700 million round of investments in Rivian, the startup pledging to put a fully electric, futuristic-looking pickup truck on the road by 2020. Rivian says it will remain an independent company and didn’t disclose how much of the $700 million Amazon committed.
Just a few days ago it sounded like General Motors might join Amazon in this venture. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that both giants were in negotiations to invest in Rivian, but GM was not named in the Friday press release and its statement to The Verge certainly made it sound like the company had not acted on its interest.
Amazon would have plenty of reason to be interested in Rivian’s mission. For one thing, the electric-pickup-truck revolution is coming, and right soon. The rise of fully electric cars and crossovers has begun to prepare America for the auto economy of tomorrow. Once truck-makers harness battery power for towing, off-roading, and other pickup tasks, electric trucks are poised to take off in a big way.
Then there’s the fact that Amazon is a shipping and logistics company, one that would benefit from owning and investing in the pieces of tomorrow’s transportation.
After keeping quiet for a long time about a sector everyone knew it was interested in, Amazon’s mobility ambitions are starting to take shape:
-invested in Aurora (self driving)
-talking about investing in Rivian (EV)
-partnered with Toyota on e-Palette (autonomous e-commerce)
— E.W. Niedermeyer (@Tweetermeyer) February 13, 2019
Rivian, meanwhile, has been quietly working on the electric-pickup dream since 2009. The startup showed off its R1T (the pickup truck) and R1S (the SUV version) at last November’s L.A. Auto Show, then let us take a look. The design looks tough but intentionally futuristic. Either Rivian would have fast charging and go 200 miles on a charge, and the company promises a big battery option with 400-mile range.
Originally posted on Popular Mechanics