Electric Cars

Ford invests $500M in Rivian, will build an EV on Rivian's platform

The new EV is in addition to Ford's planned electric crossover and F-150.

A cutaway of Rivian's "skateboard," which combines all of the drive components, the battery, the brakes and suspension.

Rivian

Ford will invest $500 million in electric-car startup Rivian, the companies announced Wednesday, forming a strategic partnership. As part of the deal, the companies will develop an "all-new, next-generation" electric vehicle for Ford, based on Rivian's "skateboard" EV platform.

Rivian has so far shown the R1T electric pickup truck and R1S electric SUV, which the automaker hopes to put into production from fall 2020. Both models are built on the company's platform, which looks like a big skateboard and houses the vehicles' batteries, motors and all control electronics, allowing for different types of vehicle bodies to be mounted on top.

Ford didn't say what type of vehicle it plans to build with Rivian's platform, noting only that the new model will be in addition to Ford's existing EV plans. The automaker has announced an electric crossover due in 2020 and an all-electric F-150 pickup truck -- both of which are already under development. For its part, Ford previously announced plans to invest $11 billion in developing its range of electric cars.

Rivian's electric pickup is set to launch in fall 2020.

Rivian

"Ford has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, with [executive chairman] 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 founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement.

Under the terms of the deal, Rivian will remain an independent company, though Ford President of Automotive Joe Hinrichs will join Rivian's seven-member board. The companies said the investment is still subject to regulatory approval. Rivian previously received investments from Amazon, and was at one time rumored to be considering a partnership with General Motors.

Rivian has its headquarters in Plymouth, Michigan, with other engineering facilities in California. The company purchased a 2.6-million square-foot former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois, which it is refitting to manufacture its R1S and R1T models.