Ford joins Amazon as Rivian’s latest major investor.
Electric truck producer Rivian received another major boost Wednesday, as Ford announced it would invest $500 million into the firm. Last year, the company unveiled its R1T pickup and R1S SUVs in Los Angeles to positive reviews. That attracted the attention of major corporate players like Amazon and General Motors. While Rivian rebuffed GM’s efforts to invest in the startup, Ford leapfrogged its Detroit rival. In doing so, the Blue Oval became one of Rivian’s latest big-money investors.
“As we continue in our transformation of Ford with new forms of intelligent vehicles and propulsion, this partnership with Rivian brings a fresh approach to both,” said Ford CEO Jim Hackett. The two companies will reportedly join together to develop a new battery electric vehicle using Rivian’s platform. Rivian’s vehicles are build on a shared “skateboard” platform, which allows the company to adapt its technology to a wide range of vehicles, from pickups to SUVs and beyond.
As part of the deal, a Ford representative will also join Rivian’s seven-member board of directors. Neither company fully disclosed what sort of battery electric vehicle it would build, but it would make sense that the technology would make its way into a truck. Although, with the electric F-150 already under development, we may not see this new model anytime soon.
Should Tesla be worried?
The field of electric cars is getting more crowded, as automakers jump into a market which Tesla has dominated for nearly a decade. However, there’s more room in the field for electric trucks. Tesla is also planning to produce a pickup of its own, but no major details have emerged as to when it will actually go on sale.
As it stands, major investment from companies like Amazon and Ford could pave the way for Rivian to come out first with a mass-produced electric pickup. If the company’s plans to produce its first trucks by October 2020 come to pass, its main rival may end up facing a serious uphill battle as battery electric vehicles gain more traction.
The Rivian R1T is slated to go on sale around $69,000 and promises a range of up to 400 miles. Find out more about Rivian’s electric pickup below: