Electric vehicles are the rage at the moment, and Tesla, which ruled the road up until now, has stiff competition from Rivian, an electric truckmaker founded in 2009, which is attracting the right attention from the right sources. The company has just announced a $1.3 billion funding round backed by Amazon and Ford-its fourth round of investment.
In February 2019, a $700 million funding round was led by Amazon. In April 2019, Ford Motor Company invested $500 million in Rivian and the companies agreed to collaborate on a vehicle project utilizing Rivian’s skateboard platform. In September 2019, Cox Automotive announced that it invested $350 million in Rivian, to collaborate on logistics and service.
Not just that. In September 2019, Rivian announced that it was collaborating with Amazon to develop an electric delivery van using Rivian’s platform technology. These strategic investments will now propel Rivian into the electric vehicle market spotlight.
Rivian aims to be the first to produce an electric pickup for the mass market. It has said it will introduce the R1T all-electric pickup truck and R1S all-electric SUV in late 2020—both with ranges of up to 400 miles on a single charge.
The USP of Rivian’s vehicles is that they can be used both off road and on road. The company claims that its R1T will be able to handle loads similar to what gas-powered pickup trucks can handle. Perhaps the biggest highlight of Rivian’s vehicle will be its ‘skateboard, a standard chassis that can be used across vehicles instead of designing different ones for each vehicle. This is expected to save time and costs significantly.
The important question now is: Are Tesla and Rivian competitiors? It didn’t seem so in the beginning, as Tesla was focused on sedans and Rivian was focused on pickup trucks for off road and camping adventures, but recently, with the unveiling of Tesla’s all new electric pick-up truck that it plans to launch in 2021, it looks like the two are pitted against each other in an EV battle.
In 2018, Tesla rebounded from a rocky start by recording third-quarter profit of $143 million, sending its stock price soaring more than 17% in after-hours trading. Its $6.3 billion revenue missed analysts expectations, but the company saved face with its adjusted earnings per share of $1.86 which far exceeded expectations.