U.S. automaker Ford Motor Company announced that it has agreed to work with Rivian to develop an all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle for Ford’s growing EV portfolio using Rivian’s skateboard platform, after making an equity investment of USD500 million in the EV start-up company.
With development centers in Plymouth, Mich., U.S.A.; San Jose, and Irvine, Calif. U.S.A.; and Surrey, England, along with a 2.6-million-square-foot manufacturing plant in Normal, Ill., U.S.A., Rivian is developing vehicles, technology and services that inspire people to get out and explore the world. The company’s goal is “keep the world adventurous forever.”
“This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility,” said R.J. Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO, who has been dubbed as the Elon Musk of electric pickup trucks.
“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 future 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 in the U.S., with an introduction to other parts of the world starting in 2021.
“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 USD11 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.