Ford invests $0.5 billion in electric pickup startup Rivian in bid to develop a Ford-branded all-electric vehicle
Back in February, we wrote about Rivian, when the electric startup company raised a whopping $700 million investment from Amazon. Since then other car manufacturers have taken notice. Today, Ford Motor Company has invested $500 million in Amazon-backed electric pickup startup Rivian in bid to bid to electrify its F-Series trucks. In a separate announcement, Rivian said 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.
In conjunction with the equity investment funding, Rivian also announced that Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of Automotive, will join its seven-member board. As part of the agreement, Rivian will remain an independent company. The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval.
“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.”
Founded in 2009 by Robert J. Scaringe, Rivian is the world’s first electric adventure vehicles. The company is developing vehicles, technology and services that inspire people to get out and explore the world. Rivian is an automotive technology company that develops products and services to advance the shift to sustainable mobility.
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.