Rivian showed his R1T pickup at the Griffith Observatory on Monday before the Los Angeles Auto Show. The vehicle should be delivered in 2020.
Ford Motor Co., maker of the F-series best-selling pick-ups, announced Wednesday that it is investing $ 500 million in Rivian, the Michigan-based company for electric truck startups.
Analysts see this as a coup, as General Motors expressed interest in an exclusive relationship and was rejected, according to Bloomberg. Rivian is considered the darling of the tech and automotive industries as vehicle manufacturers move towards electrification.
Headquartered in Plymouth, the company has support from Amazon, the Seattle-based multinational e-commerce marketplace, which specializes in cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
Ford and Rivian have agreed to work together to develop a "completely new next-generation electric car for Ford's growing EV (Electric Vehicle) portfolio with the Rivian skateboarding platform," Ford said in its statement.
"This strategic partnership is another important milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility," said RJ Scaringe, founder and CEO of Rivian. "Ford has long been committed to sustainability. Bill Ford is one of the industry's first advocates, and we're excited to use our technology to get more electric vehicles on the road. "
Rivian, an engineering startup based outside of Detroit in Plymouth Township, presented its R1T electrical concept for five people in conjunction with the 2018 LA Auto Show. (Photo: Ben Moon)
Ford, the company's CEO, said in the statement: "We are pleased to invest in Rivian and to be partners. I have come to know and appreciate RJ and we have a common goal to create a sustainable future for our industry through innovation. "
While Ford intends to develop a new vehicle with Rivian's flexible skateboard platform, this is in addition to Ford's existing plans to develop a portfolio of battery electric vehicles. Ford has already confirmed two all-electric key vehicles as part of its previously announced $ 11 billion EV investment: a Mustang-inspired crossover coming in 2020 and a zero-emission version of the best-selling F-150 pickup ,
Tesla is considered an important competitor in these upcoming projects.
Prior to the public announcement, Ford informed analysts in North America.
"This investment by Ford in Rivian is extremely meaningful to increase the number of options for future electric vehicles between existing programs and Rivian's additional electrification platform," said market analyst Jon Gabrielsen, who advises automotive manufacturers and suppliers to automotive suppliers.
"At this early stage of market entry with some first electric vehicles, it is difficult to know which technological approaches prove to be the best and how many resources Ford needs for development – depending on the rate at which consumers appreciate them," Rivian notes In essence, Ford has the ability to develop buffer products, if necessary, without the potentially higher costs and time to advance internal EV development processes so quickly, and when they do not need much, they still benefit from ownership in a company that sells to others. "
More: Rivian, in the backyard of Detroit, receives $ 700 million of Amazon investment. What now?
More: What do we know about Rivian, the startup for electric trucks in Michigan
Rivian, who joined Metro Detroit in 2013, introduced an electric pickup and SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2018.
The company, which had approximately 750 employees at various locations in February, announced a possible battery charge of 400 miles per charge and was described by some industry observers as a "Tesla killer". However, the focus is on the construction of active lifestyle vehicles. The vehicles should be delivered to customers from the end of next year.
The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval.
Joe Hinrichs, global business president of Ford, will join Rivian's board of directors.
Ford and Rivian have scheduled a call with reporters at 8:30.
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