US electric vehicle start-up Rivian has announced an equity investment of $500 million from Ford Motor Co.
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 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.
The investment from Ford follows reports of the failure of a potential partnership with General Motors. While the two companies discussed GM buying an equity stake in Rivian, the negotiations appear to have reached an impasse.
“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 future for our industry through innovation.”
Rivian already has developed two clean-sheet vehicles and has a total of six of its own EVs planned for launch by 2025. 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 a combination of performance, off-road capability and utility, starting in late 2020. The company has been taking $1000 deposits for both vehicles. Rivian has also received an investment of $700 million from Amazon, which is fuelling the start-ups vehicle development.
Ford also has been in talks with Volkswagen about possibly working together on smaller cars crossovers, and working with Rivian on larger SUV’s and trucks.
“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.”
A similar version of this story first appeared on our sister site, Electric Light & Power.