A couple of weeks ago, Michigan-based startup Rivian walked away from a potential partnership with General Motors to build electric vehicles. Now we know why: Rivian ditched the General for the blue oval.
Ford Motor Company has announced a $500 million partnership with Rivian to use the startup’s proprietary battery architecture for its own vehicles. However, sources say the Rivian tech will be used in a yet unnamed vehicle, different from the electrified F-150 and Mustang that Ford is working on.
The investment comes on top of the $11 billion that Ford is spending to electrify its product lineup and branch out into the burgeoning EV segment. Presently the automaker’s sole electric offering is the Focus hatchback. That’s all set to change in 2020, when Ford is expected to debut hybrid versions of the popular F-150 series, the Escape, and the new Lincoln Aviator and Corsair. There are also rumors of a reborn Bronco, this time with an electric motor paired with the ICE powerplant.
It makes sense for Ford to partner with Rivian. Founded in 2009, the EV startup recently wowed audiences at the LA Autoshow with its R1T pickup truck, a potentially game-changing vehicle that boasts a 400-mile range. The company also announced the R1S, an SUV that shares the same range and architecture as the pickup.
Rivian made headlines in February when it announced a $700 million investment from Amazon to develop an EV delivery platform, thanks to its skateboard-style platform that offers tremendous flexibility and cargo area, perfect for the retail giant’s needs.
As for Rivian, it makes sense to partner with Ford. After all, it already uses fake F-150 bodies to test its pickup trucks in plain sight.