Jul 27, 2021 (IAM Newswire via COMTEX) -- On Friday, Rivian revealed it closed a $2.5 billion funding round, led by existing investors Amazon /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -0.47% , Ford Motor /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F +3.92% and T. Rowe Price /zigman2/quotes/203200152/composite TROW +0.32% . Also last week, Rivian revealed its plans to build a second assembly plant in the U.S. as it moves towards beginning production of its all-electric pickup and SUV.
Investment to date
In January, Rivian closed a $2.65 billion investment round. Last July, it gathered another $2.5 billion. Back in December 2019, it raised $1.3 billion and it gathered at least $1.5 billion before that. To date, the EV start-up has raised about $10.5 billion. The fresh part of funding will be committed to expanding new vehicles, the company's domestic facility footprint and rolling out its products across the globe.
The electric pickup
The production of its electric pickup and SUV is planned to begin at its existing plant in Normal, Illinois. However, two weeks ago, the startup notified buyers of that deliveries of R1T pickup will be delayed until September whereas the R1S SUV won't come until later in the fall. Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe blamed a number of pandemic-related issues including facility construction, equipment installation and shortage of vehicle component supply as the industry is battling with semiconductor shortage. Even General Motors /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM +1.88% has been forced to halt most North American production of its profitable full-size pickup trucks recently due to the ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips. The production of Tesla Inc's /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +0.35% eagerly awaited cybertruck has been postponed for 2022 due to supply chain breakdowns. However, the delays for retail customers have not impacted Rivian's plans to provide electric delivery vehicles to its partner and investor Amazon.
The solar-powered pickup
The upcoming Atlis XT electric pickup and Alpha Electric Pickup built by Hercules Electric Mobility Inc. in partnership with Nissan Motors /zigman2/quotes/206659157/composite NSANF +1.36% and Atlis Motor Vehicles, respectively will be enhanced by the TerraVis solar charging system. TerraVis
Auto industry keeps poaching tech executives
GM brought on Nio Inc /zigman2/quotes/204905836/composite NIO -0.52% and Lyft Inc /zigman2/quotes/208999293/composite LYFT +0.28% executives to support its connected, autonomous and electric transformation. Stellantis /zigman2/quotes/204248628/composite STLA +0.41% has hired Ned Curic, Amazon's vice president of Alexa Automotive who previously worked at Toyota Motor /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM -0.64% and Microsoft /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT -0.33% as its first chief technology officer.
Although the exact date of the world's first electric pickup is unknown as well as the winner of the race, it is beyond clear already that it will be a majestic vehicle tech-wise with a variety of body shapes scheduled to come to the market.
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