Rivian Reaps $1.2 billion
The Gear Junkie
As the world anxiously awaits the “futuristic” Tesla pickup that founder Elon Musk has promised, a less-known rival has rapidly risen to vie for the title of the first all-electric truck.
Last month, Ford announced it will invest $500 million in Michigan-based Rivian. That puts the electric automaker’s total investments this year at $1.2 billion.
In February, Amazon ponied up $700 million to help Rivian reach its goal of releasing an all-electric pickup truck and SUV by the end of 2020. That’s the same timeframe many expect for the Tesla truck release.
In a press release, Ford announced it would use Rivian’s customizable “skateboard” chassis to make its own battery-electric vehicle. Combined with Amazon’s investment, Rivian appears to have ample momentum to hit its production targets.
Last year, Rivian revealed its five-passenger truck prototype, the R1T. With a 400-mile range, 1,800-pound payload and 11,000-pound tow rating, the R1T began to siphon attention from Tesla’s still-unnamed counterpart.
But this year, details emerged that Rivian patented a modular chassis that could provide the foundation for a wide range of electric truck configurations.
Further heating up the electric truck battle, Arizona-based Atlis Motor Vehicles also entered the fray this year. Though only in its third year, Atlis made bold claims about its XT pickup.
Coincidentally, that truck is also slated to hit the streets in 2020. It advertised a 500-mile range and charge times as low as 15 minutes.
While details emerge on these trucks of the future, tests and drive impressions remain elusive. But with Ford backing Rivian, the all-electric truck market takes another big step toward reality.
Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at http://www.gearjunkie.com.
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