March 25, 2023

Following in Tesla’s footsteps, another EV company has been making a name for itself in a unique way: Rivian Automotive.

Founded in 2009, Rivian specializes in premium electric trucks and SUVs with a focus on outdoor adventures. CNBC’s John Rosevear calls them “the Patagonia of electric vehicles.”

Rivian launched its first vehicle, the R1T electric truck, late last year. It has been working to scale up production and plans to launch an SUV R1S based on the same platform later this year.

Getting to this point has been a long and arduous road. But Rivian received some major aid, including $700 million from Amazon in 2019 and $500 million from Ford a few months later. Initially, Rivian and Ford tried to co-develop a joint car, but the companies eventually scrapped those plans.

However, the partnership with Amazon is still ongoing. Following the investment, Amazon said it will buy 100,000 custom electric delivery vans as part of its effort to electrify its last-mile fleet by 2040.

When Rivian went public in November 2021, it had one of the largest IPOs in U.S. history. But a volatile economy has cast a shadow over its meteoric success. The stock was hit hard as the market reacted to inflation and recession fears. But with the Amazon deal in place, some believe the electric car maker can weather the storm.

“When Amazon invested in them…but more importantly, committed to buying all these vehicles from them, they changed the market dynamics around the company,” said Mike Ramsey, an automotive and smart mobility analyst at Gartner.

Last month, Rivian and Amazon unveiled their first electric vans. They started delivering packages in a handful of cities, including Seattle, Baltimore, Chicago and Phoenix.

Watch the video to learn more.

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