NORMAL — Rivian Automotive, which plans to build the nation's first electric pickup trucks along with SUVs in Normal, is in talks about an investment from Amazon and General Motors that would value the company at between $1 billion and $2 billion, Reuters reported Tuesday.
The two companies may receive minority stakes in the Plymouth, Mich.-based startup in a deal that could be concluded and announced this month, Reuters reported, citing sources that asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.
The sources noted the talks may fail to reach a deal, Reuters reported.
But the Chicago Tribune is reporting "talks are progressing" and a deal could be announced as soon as Friday, citing an unnamed source.
Amazon, General Motors and Rivian did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters. Normal Mayor Chris Koos and Mike O'Grady, interim CEO of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council, did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday night.
Rivian, which plans to hire as many as 1,000 employees to manufacture the "electric adventure" vehicles in the Twin Cities, unveiled a five-passenger pickup truck — the R1T — and the R1S SUV in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The vehicles are due in showrooms in late 2020.
"We're launching Rivian with two vehicles that re-imagine the pickup and SUV segments," Rivian founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe said in a statement at the time of the vehicles' unveiling. "I started Rivian to deliver products that the world didn't already have — to redefine expectations through the application of technology and innovation. Starting with a clean sheet, we have spent years developing the technology to deliver the ideal vehicle for active customers."
The pickup, starting at $61,500, is expected to travel between 250 and 400 miles on a single charge, depending on the model, and is expected to tow up to 5,000 kilograms, or more than 11,000 pounds.
The SUV, starting at around $70,000, can travel up to 400 miles on a single charge, said the company, and has a towing capacity of 3,500 kilograms.
The base models of each vehicle will reach 60 mph in 3 seconds, according to Rivian.
Rivian, which received performance-based incentives from state and local governments, paid $16 million for the former Mitsubishi Motors North America plant on Normal's west side in 2017.
Town officials said in November that Rivian had already exceeded its benchmarks for a full property tax abatement at the plant for 2018, investing $10 million and employing 35 people. The plant had 60 workers at the time.
Rivian had about 600 workers at the time across not only Normal but also facilities near Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The company was required to hire 500 locally and invest $40.5 million by the end of 2021 to receive hundreds of thousands in local tax breaks, plus a $1 million Normal grant, and plans to hire 1,000 locally over a decade to receive about $50 million in state income tax credits.
Koos said in November the company may employ 500 when it reaches full production in 2020.
"It will never be as populated as the Mitsubishi plant, but it'll certainly be high production," said Koos.
Mitsubishi employed about 3,000 in Normal at its peak. The plant had 1,200 employees when it ceased production in November 2015.
This story will be updated.