2. Amazon's big bet on EV startup Rivian
Let's spend more time with one part of Amazon's initiative: plans to deploy 10,000 electric delivery vans made by the startup Rivian as soon as 2022, and 100,000 by 2030 and perhaps much faster.
Why it matters: It's a major sign that that deep-pocketed players see Rivian as well positioned among the EV startups to cross the bridge into substantial commercial production.
“It means we have a new automaker, for real.” — Gartner analyst Mike Ramsey, speaking to Bloomberg
But, but, but: One chunk of salt about Amazon's 100,000 vehicle order: Rivian has yet to begin commercial production of any EVs. Yet Amazon — which led a $700 million investment round in the company earlier this year — plans to start deploying them in 2021.
How it works: Per Wired, "Amazon’s vans will use the same battery, powertrain, and electrical network as the two consumer vehicles Rivian plans to start building next year, the $69,000 R1T pickup truck and $72,500 R1S SUV."
Where it stands: Earlier this month Rivian snagged a $350 million equity investment from Cox Automotive, a big industry data and information company.
- And this year Ford invested $500 million in Rivian, and the companies are working together to develop a Ford EV of some sort.
What they're saying: "Amazon doesn't make decisions like this lightly," Navigant Research analyst Sam Abuelsamid tells the Detroit News.
- He called the move a sign to other companies considering fleet electrification that "Rivian is a company they need to take a look at if they're going to do this."