Ford to Invest $500M in Rivian, Build EVs on Its Platform

The partnership comes after one with GM fell through

On Wednesday, Ford announced a $500 million investment in electric-vehicle startup Rivian.
On Wednesday, Ford announced a $500 million investment in electric-vehicle startup Rivian.

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After a recent $700 million investment round led by Amazon, electric-vehicle startup Rivian has announced a potentially more compelling partner: Ford Motor Company.

On Wednesday, the companies jointly announced that Ford would both invest $500 million in the much-hyped EV brand and build an “all-new battery electric vehicle” using Rivian’s tech.

So what will Ford’s new electric offering be? “Ford has decided what kind of vehicle it will build on Rivian’s platform, but it declined to specify,” writes The Verge.

What we do know is that — despite Rivian’s focus on trucks and SUVs and Ford’s January announcement that an electric F-150 is coming — this new offering won’t affect the two EVs Ford is currently developing, including the pickup and the Mustang-inspired crossover coming later this year, according to Ford CEO Jim Hackett.

While everyone and their mom seems to be working on a new electric vehicle, Ford’s decision to invest in Rivian can be distilled to two things: the startup’s proprietary skateboard technology and production speed. As Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of automotive operations, said, “One of the great benefits you get from working with a startup company like Rivian … is the opportunity to go faster.”

The elephant in the room, or at least in the press release, is that this announcement is a blow to General Motors, one of Ford’s biggest competitors, whose partnership with Rivian recently fell through.

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