Ford's luxury brand has confirmed it has a pure-electric vehicle on the way.
On Wednesday, Ford's Lincoln luxury brand announced that it is working on its first battery-electric vehicle, collaborating with EV startup Rivian to develop a luxury passenger vehicle based on Rivian's "skateboard" EV platform. That platform incorporates the vehicle battery pack, four drive motors, suspension, and other essential components into a single adaptable package.
Lincoln's announcement validates a report from November of last year, that Lincoln was working on a utility vehicle based around Rivian's EV technology. The vehicle will capitalize on the crossover boom that's helped nudge Lincoln's global annual utility vehicle sales up by seven percent higher year-over-year, and to post its best US utility vehicle sales in 16 years.
Lincoln's forthcoming electric crossover won't be built at a Ford plant. Instead, assembly will take place at Rivian's Normal, Illinois plant, on the same line that's gearing up to turn out the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck and R1S electric SUV. This gives us some indication as to when we might expect the new electric Lincoln crossover to drop; according to a previous report, Rivian is targeting a December production start date for the R1T.
Lincoln's president, Joy Falotico, called the luxury brand's partnership with Rivian "a pivotal point for Lincoln as we move toward a future that includes fully electric vehicles. This vehicle will take Quiet Flight to a new place - zero emissions, effortless performance and connected and intuitive technology."
"It's going to be stunning," she added.
Ford has invested millions into Rivian in order to strike up a partnership that will see the senior auto company licensing Rivian's technology for use in its own battery-electric vehicles. That investment is part of a larger, $11.5-billion bet on electrification that includes the Ford Mustang Mach-E and a pure-electric version of the F-150 pickup truck.
Lincoln's first pure-electric vehicle follows plug-in-hybrid models like the Aviator Grand Touring and Corsair Grand Touring, both brand new for 2020.
Rivian CEO Robert "R.J." Scaringe called the Ford-Rivian vehicle development partnership "an exciting opportunity to pair our technology with Lincoln's vision for innovation and refinement," although it isn't the company's only vehicle partnership; Rivian has also agreed to produce an electric commercial delivery van for Amazon, named "Prime".