Markets

Ford and Rivian are collaborating on an EV

Ford and Rivian are collaborating on an EV

Ford Motor Company has announced an equity investment of $500-million (that's around R7,2-billion) in USA automotive technology company Rivian, with the deal also giving the Blue Oval brand access to the Michigan-based start-up's "skateboard" EV platform.

Ford said it will use Rivian's "skateboard" - a chassis that bundles electric motor, batteries and controls - to build a new vehicle for North America.

The statement added Rivian will remain an "independent company", with the investment "subject to customary regulatory approval".

"This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility". He also says Rivian will benefit from Ford's manufacturing expertise and resources.

Founded in 2009, Rivian is gaining momentum in its mission to become the Tesla of trucks, drawing investors and consumer interest long before the first vehicles roll off the line at a former Mitsubishi plant now undergoing renovations.

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It's important to note that Ford isn't using Rivian's technology for the underpinnings of its upcoming all-electric F-150 pickup truck. Hackett on Wednesday said the Rivian investment "does not interfere" with any potential deal with VW.

Ford and other major automakers including General Motors have been boosting investment in the development of electric vehicles (EV) as Tesla and others eat into new auto sales encouraged by regulators' efforts to encourage a move away from fossil fuels. For its part, Ford previously announced plans to invest $11 billion in developing its range of electric cars. The new vehicle will also help to extend Ford's current battery-electric vehicle offering. They said it would not be one of the two BEVs Ford has already announced.

Although Rivian has just launched its first truck and SUV, offering its technology under a "white label" to other companies has always been part of its business plan, as Scaringe explained to me previous year.

Manufacturing of these vehicles will take place at Rivian's plant in Normal, Illinois with customer deliveries pegged for late 2020.

Rivian is a Michigan-based "scale-up", rather than a start-up.


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