Electric car startup Rivian said on Friday it has closed a $2.5 billion fundraising round led by investors Amazon.com, Ford Motor Co and T Rowe Price.

The announcement came the day after the California-based company said it was exploring building a second US assembly plant. Reuters, citing unnamed sources, reported on Thursday that Rivian’s planned plant, dubbed “Project Tera,” will include battery cell production.

“As we near the start of vehicle production, it is vital that we keep looking forward and pushing through to Rivian’s next phase of growth,” Rivian Chief Executive RJ Scaringe said in a statement.

“This infusion of funds … allows Rivian to scale new vehicle programs, expand our domestic facility footprint, and fuel international product rollout,” he added.

Rivian, which has a plant currently in Normal, Illinois, said it has raised about $10.5 billion to date. It will seek a valuation of well over $50 billion in a potential public listing later this year, a source previously told Reuters.

Automakers are racing to develop EVs as China, Europe and other countries and regions mandate lower carbon emissions. Rivian aims to compete when it rolls out its R1T pickup and R1S SUV, as well as a delivery van for Amazon.

Scaringe said in a letter to customers last week that Covid-19 had delayed the launch of its vehicles. The first deliveries of the R1T, previously slated for July, were pushed to September, while the R1S was delayed to autumn.

Scaringe told Reuters last November that Rivian planned to follow the initial three vehicles with smaller models targeted at China and Europe where it may eventually build vehicles.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2021.

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