Amazon owns a 20 percent stake in electric transport startup Rivian, according to a recent SEC disclosure spotted by Bloomberg. As of September 30th, the company said it held equity investments, "including preferred stock of Rivian Automotive," valued at $3.8 billion, up from $2.7 billion at the end of 2020. That Amazon should own a fifth of Rivian is not surprising. In 2019, the retailer led a $700 million investment round in the automaker, contributing about $440 million to that total.
That same year, it announced as part of its 2040 climate pledge it would purchase 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian. The first of those EVs, a cutesy van, began making deliveries in Los Angeles at the start of the year. Amazon hopes to have 10,000 of its Rivian EVs on the road by the end of 2022.
As you might imagine, that has put pressure on Rivian to deliver for its biggest customer. Per Bloomberg, the company has prioritized manufacturing vans for Amazon at the expense of its consumer vehicles like the R1T and R1S. The former was supposed to debut in 2020, but following a series of pandemic-related delays, the first customer-ready vehicle only rolled out of the company’s Normal, Illinois factory this past September.