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Home / Business / GM, Amazon can back the electric car maker Rivian. Tesla may have to check the back.

GM, Amazon can back the electric car maker Rivian. Tesla may have to check the back.



General Motors and Amazon are in talks about investing in electric car manufacturer Rivian Automotive in a deal that appreciates the start-up of $ 1 billion to $ 2 billion, people said.

The Plymouth, Mich.-based startup works on electric pickup and SUV and debuted concept versions at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Conversations go ahead, and an appointment can be announced as soon as Friday, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the negotiations are private.

Trucks and SUVs are gas guzzling cash cows for Detroit automakers. An investment in Rivian can help GM get an electric pickup on the market faster and help ward off startup like Tesla. For Amazon, the investment in Rivian will signal an ambition to shift part of the massive car fleet that delivers its zero-emission parcels.

"The Rivian is thrown in the same light as Tesla, a boot that is beyond the inner circle of the automotive industry, and it is attractive to GM," said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of research at LMC Automotive researcher. "GM could clearly do an electric pickup itself ̵

1; it has the technology and a strong base for pickup buyers. But they do not have Rivian's image and separation. "

GM has hinted that a plug-in pickup might be an option. When asked at an investor conference in January whether the company would sell a black CEO Mary Barra to An analyst: "You must continue to ask yourself."

"We admire Rivian's contribution to a future with zero emissions and an all-electric future," said Pat Morrissey, a GM spokesman, in a statement. Amazon and Rivian representatives refused to comment.

Reuters reported the talks between the three companies Tuesday.

As Tesla, Rivian purchased a car installation for a Bargain from an established automaker. It bought a factory in Normal, Ill., For $ 16 million from Mitsubishi Motors in early 2017. Tesla builds its electric cars at a facility closed by Toyota. After GM withdraws from a joint venture venture as part of its bankruptcy in 2009.

Rivian's executives have said their R1T electric pickup could reach 60 miles per hour in three seconds and drag 11,000 pounds. Deliveries are expected to start in 2020.

Package delivery is an ideal use for electric au tos, as the vehicles can begin and end trips on designated charging points and worry about the battery area out of the equation.

Amazon is expanding its delivery capabilities through a network of independent contractors. Some drive their own cars, controlled by an Amazon smartphone app. Others rent fleets of vans and hire teams with drivers.

"This gives Amazon the opportunity to jump into the car space," Schuster said. "They probably think about delivery programs, and this gives them a safe main course."

Last year, Amazon announced a delivery partner program that encouraged entrepreneurs across the country to start their own businesses by hiring drivers and rental cars to deliver. The company helps to secure discount on vanity contracts, insurance and other expenses, and provides a steady stream of business.

In just a few months, Amazon had more than 100 new businesses around the country and delivered deliveries on its behalf. and continues to recruit for the Partner Program.

The rapid growth of the Amazon e-commerce business has put pressure on the company to expand its capacity and reduce trust in its delivery partners, including United Parcel Service, FedEx and US Postal Service.

Games at Rivian would be Amazon's second automatic investment in short order. The company was among the participants in a $ 530 million funding round that the self-governing Aurora Innovation announced this month.

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