Ford gets in bed with ambitious electric car marker Rivian
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Ford's curious interplay with the world of electric cars is about to enter another curious phase.
Overnight, the firm announced a big US$500m (NZ$758m) investment in start-up electric-car company Rivian.
That name should ring a bell. Rivian got plenty of tongues wagging when they revealed their R1T fully electric double-cab pick-up. With a barely believable claimed torque figure of 14,000Nm, a range of more than 640km, and a unique 'skateboard' ethos, it quickly became a vehicle — and a company — packed with buzz. And naturally comparisons with Tesla were swift.
Now, Rivian haven't actually produced a vehicle yet. But in these hard and fast times, Ford have been the first blue-chip car company to jump on their bandwagon.
The aim of the relationship is for a future Ford EV to be built on Rivian's versatile skateboard platform. A US$500m investment sounds significant, but it's really only part of a much larger US$11b investment in electric car development.
What makes this particularly interesting is that Ford has held a long internet 'beef' with the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk. Forming a relationship with a rival electric car company could mean spicier Twitter wars down the line from the two company's execs.
Ford's Rivian creation will sit alongside their upcoming electric F-150 pick-up, as well as the much discussed Mustang-inspired hybrid SUV.
“This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO.
“Ford has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, with 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's R1T ute and R1S seven-seater SUV [both pictured] are scheduled to arrive next year. And this investment from Ford should help them hit those goals.