Ford has invested $500 million to develop a new electric Tesla rival with Rivian.
There were rumors that electric startup Rivian was going to join forces with General Motors to launch a new electric pickup. However, Rivian declined GM’s investment because an exclusivity agreement would have prevented the company from producing EV for others.
Rivian had already announced it's working with Amazon as part of a $700 million investment. If that didn’t already make Rivian a serious threat to Tesla, the electric startup has announced it has received a $500 million investment from Ford. This will enable the two companies to jointly develop an "all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle" for Ford’s expanding EV lineup that will use Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform. Rivian will remain an independent company, and 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.”
No specific details about Ford and Rivian’s jointly-developed EV have been released, but it will likely be either an electric pickup or SUV, as Rivian has previously said it won’t be developing a sedan. Rivian has already unveiled two models: the five-passenger R1T pickup and seven-passenger R1S SUV, and will launch six new models by 2025. Launching in late 2020, both models use four electric motors that deliver a combined output of 754 hp and 826 lb-ft of torque and a 400-mile range, so the future EV developed with Ford should have some impressive specifications.