Amazon has given a jumpstart to Rivian, a Michigan-based automotive manufacturer, by leading a $700 million USD (roughly $928 million CAD) investment in the company on February 15th, according to the New York Times.
The U.S. automotive company, founded in 2009 by R.J. Scaringe, is making a high-end electric pick-up truck, the R1T, and an SUV, called the R1S.
“We’re inspired by Rivian’s vision for the future of electric transportation,” said Amazon chief executive for worldwide consumer Jeff Wilke in a statement. “R.J. has built an impressive organization, with a product portfolio and technology to match.”
Rivian, which will still remain independent, offered few details on Amazon’s investment.
Both the Rivian pick-up truck and SUV will go for a premium base-price, with the R1T costing $69,000 (approximately $91,628 CAD) and the R1S going for $65,000 USD (approximately $86,318 CAD).
This is not the first time Amazon invested in the automotive industry.
Amazon also invested in Aurora, an autonomous vehicle start-up company, on February 7th.
Aurora, founded by three researchers in the self-driving field, raised $520 million USD overall, with the online retailer being a huge backer.
Similar to Rivian’s investment, while Aurora is happy that “a great technology company like Amazon, who thinks hard about the implications of logistics and movement of goods” is involved, it doesn’t mean it will lead to a partnership.
Instead, Aurora is focusing its partnerships with automotive manufacturers, as the company is not looking to make its own autonomous vehicles.
So far, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Byton, a Chinese-based start-up company focused on electric vehicles, partnered with Aurora.