Electric vehicle startup Rivian said on Monday it closed a $1.3 billion investment round, led by fund manager T. Rowe Price but also including existing investors online retailer Amazon.com Inc and No. 2 U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co.
According to Reuters, electric vehicles still make up only a small piece of the global automotive market. While Tesla is the best-known maker, China and Europe are pushing automakers to roll out EVs, and Ford, General Motors Co and others have announced plans to spend billions of dollars developing the vehicles.
Founded in 2009, Rivian plans to build an all-electric pickup truck, the R1T, and the companion R1S SUV, starting in late 2020. Both models are based on a Rivian-designed “skateboard,” a chassis that bundles electric motor, batteries and controls and can accommodate a variety of body styles.
Reuters reported that, Rowe Price has placed other bets in the auto sector. It is a large Tesla shareholder and also has invested in GM’s majority-owned Cruise self-driving division. T. Rowe Price also invested, along with Amazon, in self-driving car software startup Aurora and British online food delivery company Deliveroo.
Amazon, which has relationships and deals across the auto industry, led a $700 million investment round in Rivian in February. The e-commerce company also ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian..