Ford's $500 million investment in Rivian to yield new electric vehicle

Marco Green
April 24, 2019

Ford will invest $500 million in electric-car startup Rivian, the companies announced Wednesday, forming a strategic partnership.

Ford has agreed a deal with Rivian to develop a new model on the fast-rising electric vehicle (EV) maker's platform - and take a minority stake in the firm.

Rivian founder RJ Scaringe called the deal a "key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility".

Ford offered no details about what kind of vehicle it plans based off of Rivian's technology or when it will arrive. In January, Ford sales and marketing Vice President Jim Farley told investors after the Detroit Auto Show, "We're going to be electrifying the F-Series-battery electric and hybrid".

Rivian said it already has developed two clean-sheet vehicles with "adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision".

Both Ford and Rivian have said they are working on new high-performance electric off-road SUVs, but this investment likely doesn't come in time for that project from Ford.

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.

The two Rivian models, the R1S and R1T, will launch in 2020 and have a claimed EV range of up to 400 miles.

Ford's said its investment in Rivian is separate from the No.2 US automaker's previously announced $11 billion investment in EVs, which include 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup by 2022.

Rivian, which has shown concept versions of an electric pickup and SUV, will remain an independent company, and the investment is subject to regulatory approval.

Assuming the deal goes through, Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of automotive, will join Rivian's seven-member board of directors. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Rivian is a Michigan-based "scale-up", rather than a start-up.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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