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Rivian's R1T pickup. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Electric vehicle company Rivian announced Friday the close of a $2.5 billion funding round.

Why it matters: It's another sign that the Michigan-based company is very well-positioned among the suite of electric vehicle startups with vehicles heading to the market.

  • The company is planning to soon launch production of an electric SUV and pickup, and also has a deal with Amazon to make a large fleet of electric delivery vehicles.

Driving the news: The funding was led by "funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc," Rivian said.

  • Backers include Soros Fund Management LLC, Coatue, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Baron Capital Group, Rivian said.
  • Existing shareholders Amazon and BlackRock-managed funds also took part.

What’s next: Rivian plans to launch production of its R1T pickup, R1S SUV and the vehicles for Amazon next year at its manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois.

  • Amazon plans to buy 100,000 delivery vehicles from Rivian and hopes to have 10,000 operating as soon as 2022.

The bottom line, via Axios transportation reporter Joann Muller: Rivian is biting off an extraordinary series of manufacturing challenges all at once for a startup that has never built a vehicle. Even experienced automakers struggle to launch new vehicles smoothly.

Go deeper

Trucking into the hydrogen era

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

After years of unmet promises, hydrogen vehicles could finally be catching on. If so, it'll be a convoy of clean semi-trucks — not a bunch of quirky passenger cars — leading the way.

The big picture: We've been hearing about zero-emission, fuel-cell vehicles for decades as the answer to our worries about fossil fuels and climate change. But even now, the economic and practical challenges are still too difficult to overcome — except, perhaps, for commercial truck fleets.

DeSantis declares state of emergency after deadly Miami-area condo collapse

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency after a portion of a 12-story residential building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to AP.

The latest: The executive order will allow for federal assistance as the state continues its search-and-rescue operations. Officials have accounted for 102 people who lived in the high-rise Champlain Towers South, but 99 people remained unaccounted for by mid-afternoon, said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County at a press conference.

1 hour ago - World

Afghan president visits D.C. amid growing fears of Taliban takeover

An Afghan soldier stands guard at a mosque in Kabul. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty

As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was making his way to Washington to meet with President Biden, the Wall Street Journal revealed that the U.S. intelligence community believes his government may be toppled within six months of America's withdrawal.

Why it matters: As the Taliban gains territory and the U.S. pulls its remaining forces out, hopes of a potential peace deal in Afghanistan are giving way to fears of a rapid Taliban capture of Kabul.