Electric Truckmaker Rivian Receives $350 Million Investment From Cox Automotive

Electric Truckmaker Rivian Receives $350 Million Investment From Cox Automotive

Author: Eric Walz   

Electric truckmaker Rivian continues to secure major investments this year. The company announced on Tuesday that automotive services company Cox Automotive will make an equity investment of $350 million.

Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises operates nearly 30 automotive brands, including Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, and Manheim, the world's largest wholesale auto auction company with 145 locations worldwide. The Atlanta-based company has revenues exceeding $20 billion.

In addition to the investment, the companies will explore partnership opportunities in service operations, logistics, and digital retailing. Rivian will remain an independent company, and Cox Automotive will add a representative to Rivian's board. 

"We are building a Rivian ownership experience that matches the care and consideration that go into our vehicles," said RJ Scaringe, founder and CEO of Rivian, in a statement. "As part of this, we are excited to work with Cox Automotive in delivering a consistent customer experience across our various touchpoints. Cox Automotive's global footprint, service and logistics capabilities, and retail technology platform make them a great partner for us."

The latest investment is the third significant investment that Rivain received this year totaling more than $1.5 billion. In February, e-commerce giant Amazon lead a $700 million investment round followed by another $500 million investment from the Ford Motor Co in April.

The investment from Ford will help Rivian expand its electric portfolio and may lead to Ford and Rivian partnering to electrify popular truck and SUV models, such as the F-150 pickup.

Unlike other EV startups, Rivian is focused solely on building electric trucks and SUVs, two of the most popular vehicle segments in the U.S.

Rivian touts its zero-emissions vehicles as "electric adventure vehicles." Rivian's electric vehicles are designed to handle pavement as well as rugged off-roads trails and are more targeted to the Jeep and 4X4 truck crowd or those looking to take their electric vehicles on a outdoor adventure.

Rivian, which is based in Plymouth Michigan, has developed two electric adventure vehicles on a flexible skateboard platform. The R1T pickup and R1S SUV will have a long range combined with off-road utility and high performance.

The battery-powered R1T for example delivers up to 400 miles of range and produces up to 750 horsepower. Towing capacity is 11,000 lbs (5,000 kg).


The Rivian R1S electric SUV

Rivian's skateboard platform packages the battery, electric motors, suspension, braking and thermal system below the height of the wheels, leaving more space for a larger passenger compartment and room for more cargo. The skateboard platform of R1T and R1S are sealed to allow the electric pickup truck to drive through up to three feet of water without any issues. 

"With the electrification of vehicles set to play a significant role in the new mobility future, this partnership opens another channel of discovery and learning for Cox Automotive," said Joe George, president of Cox Automotive Mobility Group. "Advancements in battery technology and the electrification of fleets are two of our primary focus areas, and we believe this relationship will prove to be mutually beneficial."

Rivian has grown its team to include more than 1,000 employees in multiple locations, including a Silicon Valley developement center. The company has development centers in Plymouth, Mich.; San Jose, Calif.; Irvine, Calif; and Surrey, England; along with a 2.6-million-square-foot, former Mitsubishi Motors manufacturing plant in Normal, Ill. 

With the exception of electric automaker Tesla, Rivian is one of a few EV startups that owns an auto assembly plant in the U.S.

Rivian plans to launch the R1T and R1S in the U.S. in late 2020, with introduction to other global markets beginning in 2021. 

The company is currently accepting preorders for its R1T and R1S. 

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
Prev:Daimler & Torc Robotics Begin Testing Autonomous Trucks on Public Roads in the U.S. Next:Volkswagen Unveils its ID.3, the Electric Car That Will Take On Tesla
    view more