Ford announced today that it is investing $500 million in electric pickup startup Rivian and the automaker will use the startup’s platform to make an all-electric vehicle.
Just two months ago, Rivian, an electric vehicle startup better known for developing an electric pickup, announced that it raised a $700 million round of investment led by Amazon.
At the time, there were rumors that GM was going to participate in the round, but it didn’t end up happening.
Now we learn that another big automaker is actually investing in the company: Ford.
RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO, commented on the announcement:
“This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility. Ford has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, with Bill Ford being one of the industry’s earliest advocates, and we are excited to use our technology to get more electric vehicles on the road.”
Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman, also commented on the $500 million investment:
“We are excited to invest in and partner with Rivian. I have gotten to know and respect RJ, and we share a common goal to create a sustainable Future for our industry through innovation.”
Along with the investment, Ford confirmed that it will use Rivian’s electric platform to develop a Ford-branded all-electric vehicle.
Last year, we took a close look at Rivian’s electric platform, which the startup claims enable a range of up to 400 miles.
Rivian was already using Ford F-150 pickups as test mules to test its powertrain for its own R1T pickup, but the two companies confirmed that the vehicle they are partnering on is not an electric F-150.
Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford, said that the automaker will take some of the production capacity at Rivian’s Illinois factory, which the startup claims can produce up to 250,000 vehicles per year, when it comes to the platform to produce its own vehicles.
They are not confirming what type of vehicle it will be, but it will be produced by Ford using electric platforms produced by Rivian.
The management of both companies are also exploring other possible collaborations, like Ford helping Rivian with manufacturing, but they say that for now, the partnership stops to the investments and Ford using Rivian’s electric platform for one specific vehicle.
Here’s the press release about the announcement:
Rivian announces $500 million investment from Ford: a partnership to deliver all-new Ford battery electric vehicle
- Ford and Rivian form strategic partnership through $500 million minority investment
- Ford to build all-new battery electric vehicle using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform
- The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval; Ford’s Joe Hinrichs to join Rivian’s board of directors
DEARBORN, Mich., April 24, 2019 – Rivian today announced an equity investment of $500 million from Ford Motor Company. In addition to the investment, the companies have agreed to work together to develop an all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle for Ford’s growing EV portfolio using Rivian’s skateboard platform.
“This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO. “Ford has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, with Bill Ford being one of the industry’s earliest advocates, and we are excited to use our technology to get more electric vehicles on the road.”
“We are excited to invest in and partner with Rivian,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “I have gotten to know and respect RJ, and we share a common goal to create a sustainable uture for our industry through innovation.”
Rivian already has developed two clean-sheet vehicles with adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision. The company’s launch products – the five-passenger R1T pickup and seven-passenger R1S SUV – will deliver up to 400-plus miles of range and provide an unmatched combination of performance, off-road capability and utility, starting in late 2020.
“As we continue in our transformation of Ford with new forms of intelligent vehicles and propulsion, this partnership with Rivian brings a fresh approach to both,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. “At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources.”
Ford intends to develop a new vehicle using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform. This is in addition to Ford’s existing plans to develop a portfolio of battery electric vehicles. As part of its previously announced $11 billion EV investment, Ford already has confirmed two key fully electric vehicles: a Mustang-inspired crossover coming in 2020 and a zero-emissions version of the best-selling F-150 pickup.
Rivian remains an independent company. The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval. Following Ford’s investment, Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of Automotive, will join Rivian’s seven-member board.
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