Amazon is adding exotic Italian automaker Lamborghini and Michigan-based electric vehicle startup Rivian to its growing list of partners that will integrate its Alexa voice-enabled assistant into upcoming vehicles.
Amazon on Monday said Lamborghini will include Alexa in its $200,000-plus Huracan Evo and Rivian will integrate Alexa into its first two all-electric vehicles, the R1S SUV and R1T pickup, beginning later this year.
Rivian also will include Alexa in its previously-announced fleet of 100,000 all-electric Amazon delivery vans, which are expected to begin production in 2021. Amazon was the lead investor in a $700 million investment round into Rivian nearly a year ago. The company also was part of a $1.3 billion investment round, led by T. Rowe Price, that was announced in December.
The new Alexa-enabled vehicles were announced in conjunction with the CES technology conference that's occurring this week in Las Vegas. The partnerships add to 10 previous tie-ups between automakers and Amazon to include Alexa's voice assistant technology in vehicles, according to the company.
Amazon on Monday also announced it is partnering with automakers such as BMW and Fiat Chrysler to offer Amazon TV to in-car entertainment systems; expanding Echo Auto, its aftermarket in-vehicle device with Alexa, to international markets this year, starting with India on Jan. 15; and the ability for U.S. consumers to pay for gas through Alexa at 11,500 Exxon and Mobil stations.
General Motors, a partner with Amazon for Alexa, was the first automaker to offer in-car pay at gas stations through a vehicle's infotainment system in 2018.
Ned Curic, vice president of Alexa Auto, last month told CNBC last month that demand for Alexa in vehicles was "through the roof" heading into 2020.
Arianne Walker, Amazon chief evangelist of Alexa Auto, said the company is "essentially talking" with all major automakers on partnering in some form.
"It's really more of a matter of getting things lined up for the cars that are going to be released as opposed to any hesitation," she said.
Shares of Amazon were up 1.2% mid-afternoon on Monday to nearly $1,900 per share. The stock is up more than 20% in the past year, including a 2.6% increase in 2020.