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WGLT, an NPR station in central Illinois, is following every move at the Rivian manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois. The electric vehicle startup has gone from stealth mode to big-time player in the auto world, attracting attention (and big money) from companies like Ford and Amazon.

Video: Rivian Reveals SUV As LA Rollout Continues

UPDATED 7:40 p.m. | Rivian made a big splash Tuesday at the LA Auto Show as it revealed its electric SUV and made the case that it’s positioned to succeed where many other EV startups have not.

The forest green R1S SUV was greeted with thunderous applause as it pulled silently on stage next to Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe and a companion pickup truck that debuted Monday. Both have larger battery packs and more driving range than other EVs on the market. Both will be made in Normal.

“We’ve spent a lot of time,” Scaringe said. “Thousands and thousands of decisions. Hundreds of people putting this together to make sure all the pieces are lined up. The technology, the organization, the supply chain, the manufacturing system, our financial structure—to make sure we can deliver these products.”

Video: Watch Rivian's press conference Tuesday in Los Angeles. 

The SUV will start at $72,500, with the pickup at $69,000. More expensive models with larger battery packs will be produced first. Those prices are not yet known.

The seven-passenger SUV shares the same signature "stadium" headlights and front and rear light bars as the five-passenger R1T pickup.

The SUV has a maximum range of over 410 miles on a single charge, drawing on a 180 kilowatt-hour battery pack. It can tow around 7,700 pounds, less than the pickup's 11,000+ towing capacity. Like the pickup, the SUV can safely drive through 3 feet of water without problems.

The SUV's charging rate is up to 160 kW, meaning it can add 200 miles of range in just 30 minutes, according to Rivian's spec sheet.

Preorders are now open with a $1,000 deposit, and first deliveries are set for fall 2020.

Timeline: See where Rivian came from and its timeline for production.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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