GM and Amazon Reportedly to Invest in Rivian

Rivian R1S

The rapid growth of Amazon's e-commerce business has put pressure on the company to expand capacity and reduce its reliance on its delivery partners that include United Parcel Service Inc., FedEx Corp. and the U.S. Postal Service.

According to sources talking with Reuters, the company may get an investment from two major companies, Amazon and General Motors, giving both minority stakes in the manufacturer.

GM now sells the battery-powered Chevrolet Bolt electric crossover and has promised to introduce 20 new all-electric models by 2023, so far confirming only that one of them will be a Cadillac utility vehicle. Negotiations are reportedly still taking place, but the sources claim we may hear an official announcement some time this month. As my old Irish grandmother was fond of saying, "There's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip".

"We admire Rivian's contribution to a future of zero emissions and an all-electric future", GM said in an emailed statement, declining to specifically comment on any talks with Rivian. Amazon and Rivian did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show in December, Rivian announced its intention to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2020. Big names such as GM and Amazon are already poised to dump boatloads of cash into the development of future electric platforms. Both are gigantic vehicles that could well appeal to affluent customers.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk told investors last August that an electric pickup is "probably my personal favourite for the next product" from the company, though he has spoken only in general about a potential launch, saying that it would happen "right after" Tesla's Model Y, which the company has targeted to start production in 2020.

It seems Workhorse is closest to having an electric truck ready for market. Being first to market could give Workhorse a significant advantage over the competition. Rivian has raised $450 million so far, including a $200 million debt round led by Standard Chartered Bank last May.

Rivian already boasts a $500 million stake from Abdul Latif Jameel, whose investments include the USA branch of Japan's Sumitomo Bank, and the Toyota distributorship in Saudi Arabia, Kitman reported.

Since this entire report is based on the information of one unnamed individual, it must be taken with a large pinch of salt. That in itself is reason enough for optimism about the inevitability of the electric transportation revolution.

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