Ford has confirmed a US$500 million investment in electric vehicle start-up Rivian that will see the Blue Oval build all-new battery electric models on Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform.
Rivian caused a stir last year when it revealed the R1T pickup truck and the seven-seat R1S SUV. Both models are full-electric and promise to deliver over 600 kilometres of driving range and genuine off-road capability. Production of the R1T and R1S is scheduled to start in late 2020.
Ford plans to use the skateboard platform to bolster its electric plans in conjunction with its previously announced $11 billion EV investment. Ford has already confirmed the development of an electric F-150 pickup and a Mustang-inspired SUV.
Along with access to Rivian’s EV architecture, the deal will see Ford take a minority stake in the company and gain a seat on Rivian’s seven-member board which will be occupied by Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s head of global operations.
“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.”
This is the second major investment in Rivian in 2019, in February the start-up announced an equity investment round of US$700 million led by Amazon.
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