Rivian is in talks with Amazon to adjust the exclusivity clause in their agreement for electric delivery vans.
By altering the clause, Rivian will be able to reach out to new customers as it ramps up production of the vans, as well as its R1 series pickup and SUV.
Rivian and Amazon agreed in 2019 to supply the e-commerce giant with 100,000 electric delivery vans (EDVs). The vans began making deliveries in Los Angeles in February 2021 and have since expanded to over 100 cities. During their time in operation, the EDVs have delivered over ten million packages.
Marina Norville, Rivian spokeswoman, emphasised in a statement that the company’s relationship with Amazon has and continues to be a positive one.
“We continue to work closely together, and are navigating a changing economic climate, similar to many companies,” she said.
“While nothing has changed with our agreement with Rivian, we have always said we want others to benefit from their technology in the long run,” said an Amazon spokesperson.
The reason for the exclusivity portion of the deal potentially being removed is that Amazon wants to buy 10,000 vans this year, which is less than expected. As a result, Rivian wishes to pursue new retail customers while continuing to work with Amazon.
Rivian’s fortunes have not improved since its massive IPO; Ford, Rivian’s second-largest backer with a $500 million initial investment, reduced its stake last month to just 1.15%. Meanwhile, Amazon has reduced its share to 17%. Rivian must find another customer for its vans before things worsen especially after the automaker announced plans last week to raise $1.3 billion through the sale of convertible notes to help fund the development and launch of its next-generation electric SUV and pickup truck.