Nation & World

GM, Amazon to invest in electric trucks?

Two companies reportedly to sink up to $2 billion in Rivian

Ben Moon/TNS

Rivian is an automotive start-up with an engineering base outside Detroit in Plymouth Township, manufacturer of the five-passenger R1T electric pickup concept.
Ben Moon/TNS Rivian is an automotive start-up with an engineering base outside Detroit in Plymouth Township, manufacturer of the five-passenger R1T electric pickup concept.

Electric pickup maker Rivian declined to comment Tuesday evening on reports that General Motors and Amazon plan to invest $1 billion to $2 billion in the start-up, which was among the stars of the Los Angeles Auto Show late in 2018.

Reuters initially reported negotiations that could lead to a deal among the companies being announced as soon as this month. Reuters said Amazon was mum.

GM issued a statement that said, “We admire Rivian’s contribution to a future of zero emissions and an all-electric future.”

Rivian plans to sell a battery-powered pickup and midsized SUV by the end of 2020. The company owns a former Chrysler and Mitsubishi assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, where it plans to build the vehicles.

Rivian also has said it will license its technology to other automakers.

Little is known about the details of Plymouth, Mich.-based Rivian’s engineering today. The company has said its R1T pickup will have a range of 250 to 400 miles and four electric motors — one for each wheel.

Rivian’s stand next to Ford Motor drew huge crowds during the LA Auto Show. The R1T pickup, and R1S SUV both were on display.

General Motors has committed to introducing more than 20 electric vehicles by 2023. Most of those are expected to be built and sold primarily in China.

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Rivian has positioned its pickup as a leisure vehicle for adventure vacations such as hunting and camping, not a work truck.

The R1S SUV, about the size of a Ford Explorer, has seven seats and is expected to share its engineering and systems with the R1T, which also claims up to 260 to 440 miles range and 0 to 60 mph acceleration in three seconds.

Prices for the R1T are expected to start around $61,500. The R1S will begin at $65,000. Both prices assume continuing federal tax credits for electric vehicles.

Ford has said it will build a hybrid version of the F-150 pickup — possibly a plug-in hybrid that can go miles on electricity alone — in 2020. A battery-only F-150 is expected after that.

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