Amazon Owns Nearly 150 Million Shares of Rivian Stock

It won’t be much longer before Rivian stock is available for the public once the electric vehicle maker’s IPO launches. Until that day arrives, investors have had a close eye on every new piece of documentation that comes to light. For quite some time, we’ve known that Amazon has an interest in the electric truck maker, but now we know how many shares of Rivian stock the online retailer possesses.

Amazon reveals that it owned almost 150 million shares of Rivian stock

A navy blue electric Amazon delivery van manufactured by Rivian. It was recently revealed that Amazon owns almost 150 million shares of Rivian stock
Amazon electric delivery van manufactured by Rivian | Amazon

In a new report from Automotive News, Amazon.com Inc has revealed that it owns a 20 percent stake in Rivian, the electric truck startup manufacturer. According to a recent securities filing, Amazon disclosed that “including preferred stock of Rivian Automotive, Inc. representing an approximately 20 percent ownership interest,” with a value of $3.8 billion.

Earlier in the year, Rivian disclosed in a filing that Amazon invested $1.3 billion and held nearly 150 million shares of preferred Rivian stock. However, that filing did not disclose Amazon’s percentage as voting power.

Automotive News reached out to Rivian in regards to the development, but the company declined to comment. Amazon’s involvement with Rivian was widely documented. The online retailer ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from the EV maker, with 10,000 of those vans due before the end of 2022.

Despite owning millions of shares of Rivian stock, Amazon has far from a controlling stake in the company. However, the online retailer could quadruple its investment depending on the Rivian stock valuation when the IPO launches.

Who makes the batteries for Rivian?

This is a configurator photo of the green 2022 Rivian R1T Launch Edition. Rivian Electric Truck Designed for Luxury, Not Overlanding, Despite Rivian Off Road Capabilities. | Rivian
This is a configurator photo of the green 2022 Rivian R1T Launch Edition. Rivian Electric Truck Designed for Luxury, Not Overlanding, Despite Rivian Off Road Capabilities. | Rivian

Currently, Rivian uses Samsung SDI as its main supplier for its batteries in its electric truck, the R1T, its upcoming SUV, the R1S, and presumably the electric delivery vans ordered by Amazon. However, with the upcoming IPO, the matter of Rivian’s batteries has potentially become a hot button issue.

A pension fund adviser from SOC Investment Group recently sent a letter to a Rivian board member asking the automaker to “commit to a rigorous human rights assessment of Rivian and its value chain.”

The adviser requested the assessment because the “battery supply chain and production is rife with human rights risks.” The adviser wanted to ensure that the batteries Rivian sources for its vehicles are not connected to human rights violations.

If it were found that Samsung SDI batteries are not conflict-free, it could drastically reduce the value of Rivian stock once it becomes available. Rivian, for its part, tried to provide assurances for those concerns stating that they are “working with materials suppliers and supply chain partners on ethical sourcing practices.”

Rivian will make its own batteries eventually

Rivian R1T EV truck on a production line. Rivian is planning to make their own EV batteries in house.
Rivian R1T EV truck production | Rivian

As part of the documents filed for the Rivian IPO, the company revealed plans to bring battery production in-house. The advantage being that Rivian would be less reliant on third-party suppliers like Samsung SDI and could lower costs while streamlining production.

However, the automaker said its in-house EV batteries would “compliment third-party cell procurement,” so Rivian-made batteries would not be its only source.

We speculate that if the Rivian IPO goes well, the company will likely use the revenue generated from investments to get its in-house battery program rolling.

When the IPO launches, the Rivian stock price will have interesting implications on the emerging EV industry. We will keep an eye on it as it develops.

RELATED: Rivian R1T First Electric Truck To Market: Start-up Beats Tesla, GM, And Ford