The Ford Motor Company has announced a $500 million investment in EV startup Rivian. Rivian now counts Ford as a willing partner to push its battery-electric pickup and SUV prototypes to the assembly line.
Ford’s investment is in line with signals from China, France, India and the United Kingdom. These four countries have pledged to eliminate fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040.
Rivian, one of several startups following the model of Tesla on electric vehicles, has also received $700 million led by Amazon earlier this year. Last year, the startup unveiled an electric pickup truck and an electric sport utility vehicle at an auto show in Los Angeles. The vehicles were set to be manufactured at the startup’s plant in Illinois. Deliveries to customers is expected to begin late in 2020.
In May 2018, Rivian secured $200 million from a London bank to buy and retool the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois. Before that, Rivian had raised $450 million from other private investors and companies, including Abdul Latif Jameel, an investment firm that is also the Toyota distributor for Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. arm of Japan’s Sumitumo Corporation, a conglomerate of businesses involving metals, aircraft leasing, and railroads.
“This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility… Ford has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, with (Ford executive chairman) 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.”Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said.
Ford will build its vehicle around Rivian’s “flexible skateboard platform,” which includes the battery pack, the electric drivetrain, and the electrical architecture that will power the startup’s own EVs, the R1T electric pickup truck and the R1S SUV.
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