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Amazon, GM Mull Stake In Electric Truck Co Rivian

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Amazon and General Motors are reportedly in talks about making an investment in Michigan-based startup Rivian Automotive.

Sources told Reuters that the deal would value Rivian at between $1 billion and $2 billion and give both companies minority stakes in the electric truck manufacturer. If all parties agree on the deal, it could be announced as early as this month.

“We admire Rivian’s contribution to a future of zero emissions and an all-electric future,” GM said in an emailed statement, but declined to provide any additional information. Amazon and Rivian would not comment.

GM said last year that it was doubling resources for developing electric and self-driving vehicles, while Amazon just announced last week that it had invested in self-driving car startup Aurora Innovation in a $530 million funding round.

The deal would be a major boost for Rivian as it aims to take on larger rival Tesla. Last August, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told investors that an electric truck is “probably my personal favorite for the next product” from the company, adding that the vehicle would most likely happen “right after” Tesla’s Model Y, which is set to start production in 2020.

For its part, Rivian, which was founded in 2009, plans to begin selling its R1T in the fall of 2020. CEO R.J. Scaringe described the vehicle’s platform as a “skateboard” that holds the drive units, battery pack, suspension system, brakes and cooling system below wheel height to offer drivers more storage space and greater stability.

Scaringe added that the company is looking to partner with other firms to develop advanced self-driving technology. Its existing financial backers include Saudi auto distributor Abdul Latif Jameel Co, Sumitomo Corp of Americas and Standard Chartered Bank. ALJ is providing almost $500 million in funding, while Sumitomo invested an undisclosed amount, and Standard Chartered gave debt financing of $200 million.

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