Rivian R1T electric pickup truck

Rivian Reaps $1.2 Billion in Last 3 Months to Fund Electric Pickup Truck

Upstart Rivian speeds toward the production of the first all-electric pickup truck and SUV after major investments by Amazon and Ford.

As the world anxiously awaits the “futuristic” and “heart-stopping” Tesla pickup that founder Elon Musk has promised, a little-known rival has rapidly risen to vie for the title of the first all-electric truck.

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Today, Ford announced it will invest $500 million in Michigan-based Rivian. That puts the 10-year-old 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 and a ringing endorsement from Alex Honnold this year, Rivian appears to have ample momentum to hit its production targets.

Ford, Amazon Invest in Rivian Electric Pickup Truck

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.

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But this year, details emerged that Rivian patented a modular chassis that could provide the foundation for a wide range of electric truck configurations. This followed a massive $700 million investment from Amazon.

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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.

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And while more details emerge on the rapidly approaching 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.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the editor-in-chief of GearJunkie and a fan of virtually all sports and activities. From biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming — if it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.