Some more reading here:
An older article, but some great insight and quotes:
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, visited Rivian’s Plymouth, Michigan headquarters last fall, and was highly impressed when he met with Scaringe, who founded the company in 2009 after earning a Ph.D. from MIT, The New York Times reports. On September 19th, 2019, Amazon announced that it would buy 100,000 Rivian vehicles for its cargo delivery fleet as part of the company’s “Climate Pledge”.
Scaringe is determined to shatter conventional views about electric vehicles. “We have a number of untruths–a truck can’t be electric, an electric car can’t go off road, it can’t get dirty, it can’t tow, and truck buyers don’t want something that’s environmentally friendly,” Scaringe told the Times. “These things are fundamentally wrong. Electrification and technology can create a truck that’s incredibly capable and fun to drive,” he added.
Even with Ford’s and Amazon’s backing, Rivian faces major obstacles. "The capital requirements are enormous and ceaseless,” Mike Ramsey, an analyst with tech research firm Gartner, told the Times. For Rivian, “Manufacturing is the biggest challenge,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a news release. The next few years will prove whether Rivian can produce at a competitive price the kind of high-mileage, durable SUVs and trucks that founder “R.J.” Scaringe envisions in the ruthlessly competitive global car market.