A new report from Reuters suggests General Motors and Amazon are in talks to invest in the Plymouth, Michigan-based electric vehicle company Rivian. The deal would give both a minority stake in Rivian, according to Reuters’ sources. Rivian made a splash at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November when it unveiled the R1S and R1T—an electric crossover and truck, respectively.
News of the deal comes just days after General Motors CEO Mary Barra gave a vague non-answer when asked about the development of an electric Chevrolet Silverado. During GM’s 2018 earnings call she said, “We believe in an all EV future so you’ll have to stay tuned.” An investment in Rivian with Amazon could give Rivian a value of $1-$2 billion. A deal could be announced as soon as this month; however, Reuter’s sources cautioned the deal could fall through.
Questions about GM’s development of an electric Silverado or pickup truck came after spy photos of an electric Ford F-150 emerged. The Dearborn automaker not only confirmed an electric F-150 is on the way but also said a hybrid version was in development as well.
General Motors hasn’t been shy about its electrified plans. The automaker plans to release 20 new EVs by 2023 with a new electric crossover from Cadillac spearheading the company’s electric strategy. However, General Motors plans to build its electric vehicles on an all-new, scalable EV architecture that wouldn’t fit a pickup truck well. That’s where the Rivian R1T could assist.
GM investing in Rivian could give it access to an electric pickup truck without diluting the Silverado brand. That is, until, electric pickup trucks deliver the same performance as today’s gasoline-powered trucks, and Chevrolet can build, market, and sell them for a healthy profit. The R1T Rivian revealed in Los Angeles boasted up to 400 miles of range, a three-second sprint to 60 miles per hour, the ability to wade up to three feet of water, and a quad-motor design for all-wheel drive.