Rivian in talks to end exclusivity deal with Amazon for its EV delivery trucks and court new customers
Electric vehicle (EV) maker Rivian Automotive is in talks with its largest shareholder Amazon to end the exclusivity part of their electric van deal, CNBC reported, citing the company spokeswoman.
As we reported back in 2019, Amazon had placed an order for 100,000 electric delivery vans (EDVs) from Rivian as part of the company’s plans to cut carbon emissions. Since then, the retail giant has taken deliveries and inducted the EDVs into its fleet, with over 10 million packages delivered using the vans.
In a statement, Rivian spokeswoman Marina Norville said the company’s relationship with Amazon has been and continues to be a positive one.
“We continue to work closely together, and are navigating a changing economic climate, similar to many companies,” she said.
By removing the exclusivity clause from the agreement, Rivian could expand its customer base while simultaneously scaling up production of its vans, R1 series pickup, and SUV. Additionally, Rivian is currently developing the R2 model and requires funding. To this end, the company recently revealed its intention to generate $1.3 billion through the sale of convertible notes to support the development and launch of the R2 model.
We first covered Rivian in 2019 after the once secretive and high-flying electric truck startup raised $700 million in funding led by e-commerce giant Amazon. Rivian emerged from stealth a year earlier with half a billion dollars in funding. With millions of gas guzzlers on the roads, Rivian believes it can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, lower the carbon footprint, and also make money doing good.
Founded in 2009 by Robert J. Scaringe, Rivian is the world’s first electric adventure vehicle. The company is developing vehicles, technology, and services that inspire people to get out and explore the world. Rivian is an automotive technology company that develops products and services to advance the shift to sustainable mobility.
Just like Tesla and other electric car companies, Rivian wants to save the planet from the impending climate change doom. However, things are not turning out well for the Plymouth, Michigan-based Rivian as reality started to set in. By the end of 2019, Amazon, Ford, and T. Rowe Price invested an additional $1.3 billion in the company. Prior to that, Rivian had raised $2.2 billion and was valued at an estimated $5 billion to $7 billion.
Fast forward two years later, Rivian went public and the shares of Amazon-backed EV startup Rivian popped on IPO debut, surpassing GM at a $101 billion market cap despite less than 100 EV trucks delivered to customers, most of which are company employees.
Then in April 2022, Amazon took a $7.6 billion loss on Rivian stake after the once high-flying EV tech startup lost over 75% of its market value; from its peak of $146.7 billion to $29.41 billion.