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Amazon-backed EV startup closes factories and offices amid pandemic

Another car maker puts production on hold

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In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, life and business is on hold for a lot of us. Now, electric vehicle startup Rivian is joining the list of companies on pause until the coronavirus pandemic is addressed.

[Read: NASCAR swaps race tracks for pixels in pivot to esports amid coronavirus race cancellations]

Rivian, known for its high-range and practical all-electric SUVs, is shutting down all its facilities, TechCrunch reports.

But it’s great to hear that the company will continue to pay its salaried and hourly workers during what will be, hopefully, a temporary shutdown.

The Michigan-headquartered EV startup employs over 2,000 workers cross the US and has an office in the UK. It counts the likes of Ford and Amazon as backers.

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Credit: Rivian
Rivian is currently getting two all-electric SUVs ready for launch. The company is also working with Amazon to develop all-electric delivery vehicles.

According to TechCrunch, Rivian had already begun scaling back its workforce. Last week, the company said its offices and production facilities were operating at around 2 to 5% occupancy.

It’s not known for how long Rivian’s facilities will be shut down, but presumably things will resume as things will resume as soon as the coronavirus pandemic is at safe and manageable levels.

Over the past week or so, Tesla has been facing a similar decision, but seemingly held out for as long as it could against government requests that it close its US factories.

Despite initially defying government requests to shut down all non-essential business, Tesla closed its doors to its New York and Fremont factories effective from today.

Published March 23, 2020 — 11:13 UTC