Electric vehicle startup Rivian says it has raised another $2.5 billion in funding from accounts advised by investment firm T. Rowe Price.
The company has a contract with Amazon to build 100,000 electric delivery vans starting next year at the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal. Rivian also is rolling out a pickup truck and an SUV for sale to consumers next year.
The company said Friday that investors in this round include Soros Fund Management, Coatue, Fidelity Management and Research, and Baron Capital Group. Amazon and hedge fund BlackRock have invested previously and also are part of this round, Rivian said.
Rivian’s all-electric product plans, which were delayed several months due to the coronavirus pandemic, include the R1T pickup, R1S SUV as well as a line of vans, which Amazon pre-ordered 100,000 of last year for its delivery fleet over the next decade.
The all-electric pickup and SUV are expected to launch early next year, while Amazon expects to have 10,000 of the vans in its fleet by 2022. Rivian has said the pickup and SUV, which debuted in late 2018, will achieve a driving range on a single charge of more than 400 miles – in-line with Tesla’s top Model S Long Range Plus.'’
Rivian will produce the vehicles at a former Mitsubishi Motors plant in Normal, Illinois, which was purchased for $16 million in 2017. The company is spending more than $750 million to equip, renovate and expand the facility ahead of production.
The fact that Rivian already has the 2.6 million-square-foot plant, including a paint shop that’s nearing completion, puts it ahead of others such as Nikola and Tesla, which has yet determine a location for production of its Cybertruck.
The bottom line, via Axios transportation reporter Joann Muller: Rivian is biting off an extraordinary series of manufacturing challenges all at once for a startup that has never built a vehicle. Even experienced automakers struggle to launch new vehicles smoothly.