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Rivian plays supporting role in Bezos liftoff

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021

* Not much of a fan of this billionaire in space thing, but local company does good is a decent hook. Mashable

Before former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made it to space, he had to make it to the launch pad.

Bezos and his brother Mark, as well as 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk and 18-year-old Dutch passenger Oliver Daeme, piled into a Rivian R1S SUV on Tuesday morning ahead of their flight to space. Later, they would ride a New Shepard rocket from Bezos’ private spaceflight company, Blue Origin.

Rivian’s first electric truck and SUV aren’t available yet, but Amazon is a big investor in the American EV startup. Like leading a $700 million round of funding big. Rivian is even making electric Amazon delivery vans. […]

The electric SUV is a rare sight thanks partly to the pandemic. The Rivian R1T truck was supposed to arrive by the end of this month, followed by the R1S SUV. Now the electric truck isn’t expected until September, and the SUV that Bezos rode in isn’t expected until later in the fall. The truck starts at $73,000, while the SUV is slightly more at $75,500. Both will have more than 300 miles of range.

The company has hired about 2,000 people at its Normal plant.

* Pic

Looks better than his rocket.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 9:28 am:

    By this time next year Rivian could be Bloomington-Normal’s second biggest employer. Kind of insane.

  2. - Davis Junction - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 9:36 am:

    Rivian needs to get those vehicles to market asap or risk becoming irrelevant. I’m rooting for them, but time is running out. Ford is releasing the electric F-150, and there are enough electric SUV competitors coming out for far less than $75k, I have concerns that Rivian will be able to compete with a VW or Kia or Tesla priced at $40k.

  3. - Blue Dog - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 9:36 am:

    To each their own. But until Rivian signs a contract with the UAW, I won’t buy. Diminished Ford and gm sales won’t be helped by this.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 9:41 am:

    Couldn’t give that building away in Bloomington-Normal, amirite?

    Big deal it’s there. Those in the aerospace field and technology are seemingly always looking at new things, like Rivian… if they had not heard of them.

  5. - Han's Solo Cup - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    Every time I see Bezos in that cowboy hat I think of the old Far Side cartoon where the vulture is wearing the hat and says “Look at me I’m a cowboy.” In this case, a space cowboy.

  6. - Asteroid of Caution - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 9:45 am:

    That’s 2 Central Illinois connections to the launch.

    There’s the Rivian SUV, and then there’s Bezo’s rocket itself, which appears to have been modeled after the Springfield Wyndham City Centre hotel.

  7. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 9:58 am:

    Yeah, that rocket would be banned from Capitolfax.

  8. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 9:59 am:

    A car modeled after his rocket would definitely be a sports car or a really large truck

  9. - Scott Cross for President - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 10:04 am:

    That’s a good looking truck. Please get that to market, Rivian - after you make good with the people building it. #UAW

  10. - All This - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 10:19 am:

    == To each their own. But until Rivian signs a contract with the UAW, I won’t buy. Diminished Ford and gm sales won’t be helped by this.==
    Is there an active union organizing drive happening at Rivian?

  11. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    This is a great ad for Rivian. The 5′7″ over compensating Jeff Bezos makes the SUV look huge, even with his height extending cowboy hat.

  12. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 10:27 am:

    ===The 5′7″ over compensating Jeff Bezos===

    Explains the rocket.

  13. - Downstater-in-Chicago - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 10:27 am:

    I’ve been trading jokes and Tweets with my family and friends roasting on billionaires in space, but this Twitter thread did help re-align my thoughts on the matter.

    Look, roasting billionaires is still fun and totally a thing we should do. But the joke is on us. They’re only able to do these things because we have failed to elect a government that runs an ambitious space program, taxes the wealthy to pay for it, and requires billionaires to provide their workers with a living wage and humane working conditions.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 10:32 am:

    ===that runs an ambitious space program===

    NASA funding, diminishing… NASA programs stifled.

    The reality is… “why are we funding NASA and not… “ is a big deal to both parties, bipartisan in its group think.

    The idea of raising taxes that might be linked to NASA in the specific… tough in these times of polarized political posturing, even for NASA.

    It would need to be a public outcry to drive this… rocket. Not hearing/seeing too many outlets calling on NASA to be bigger.

    There would need to a Kennedy-like leader that could rally the country.

  15. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    “Explains the rocket.”

    That comment is a violation of his HIPAA rights. /s

  16. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 10:44 am:

    A rat done bit my sister Nell.
    (with Whitey on the moon)
    Her face and arms began to swell.
    (and Whitey’s on the moon)

    -Gil Scott-Heron

    We have an overwhelming tendency to pretend that the Space Program was more popular in the past than it actually was in opinion polls. We’ve got billionaires exploiting workers and destroying businesses with anti-competitive practices launching themselves into space for fun, but we shouldn’t assume that if our government successfully addressed those issues that we’d be spending on developing space programs.

    Especially with our failure to have a healthcare system that functions for everyone. Especially with the glaring and obvious need to address climate change.

  17. - ChicagoVinny - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 10:47 am:

    Having private space companies take over transportation of astronauts and goods to low Earth orbit was the result of space policy choices made in the 2000s. You may not like the plan, but what we’re seeing right now is the fulfillment of NASA policy.

  18. - Downstater-in-Chicago - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 10:50 am:

    ===”why are we funding NASA and not..”===

    That really is the crux of it, isn’t it?

    That really seems to be the reason why we can’t have nice things anymore as a civil society. Everything is all about “either/or” and not “both/and”. We can fund space programs AND food programs. We can fund defense AND universal health care. But we don’t want to do the hard things. Or even support those who are trying.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 10:57 am:


    Both/And… those days are far away AND far off going forward.

    Back to the post,

    What’s exciting for B-N is the opportunity for the region to see significant change in the dynamic of the region to manufacturing, and cutting edge (product) manufacturing too.

    The destruction of the last administration was predicated on not having… hope… and a plan to want hope with a real want to succeed.

    That’s why the past governor needed to run down the possible with Rivian, to fuel more destruction, and destruction to overall labor too.

  20. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 11:22 am:

    I see Bezos has a big…cowboy hat.

  21. - Bemused - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 11:54 am:

    What I thought was funny was during the ABC coverage of the launch the Rivian was called a Range Rover.

  22. - Captain Obvious - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 12:32 pm:

    Bezos reminded me of Wavy Gravy in that hat and get up. It would be great if Rivian succeeds. I hope there are more people with 75K to spend on a limited use vehicle than I imagine there are. I bet Ford and GM hope so too.

  23. - DuPage - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 1:25 pm:

    Illinois could help sales of EVs by waiving the sales tax on all EVs, and give an additional cash back incentive on EVs built in Illinois that pay their workers union level wages and benefits.

  24. - M - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 4:49 pm:

    Why does it cost $75,000 to make when there are fewer parts in the engine?

  25. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Jul 21, 21 @ 7:15 pm:

    Noticed the GovJunk comment did not make it through the filter

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