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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.

Updated 11 mins ago - Sports

MLB headed for first lockout since '95 as deal expires

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (L) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is headed for the first management lockout since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years, per AP.

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.