Rivian Automotive: Ford To Invest $500 Million In Electric Vehicle Startup

By Amit Chowdhry ● Updated August 6, 2019

Rivian Automotive is continuing its growth acceleration as it is now receiving a $500 million investment from Ford Motor Company. Once the companies receive regulatory approval, the two companies are going to set up a strategic partnership.

As part of the investment, Ford will gain a minority stake in Rivian. And Ford’s president of global operations Joe Hinrichs will gain a seat on Rivian’s board. Ford is also going to build its all-new battery electric vehicle with Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform.

“This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility,” said Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe in a statement. “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.”

With the skateboard platform, Rivian has developed two clean-sheet vehicles including the five-passenger R1T pickup and seven-passenger R1S SUV. These vehicles deliver up to 400-plus miles and it supports off-road capabilities and utility. Rivian plans to launch the R1S and R1T in late 2020.

“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,” explained Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett. “At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources.”

Ford’s plans to develop a new vehicle with Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform is in addition to Ford’s existing plans for developing a portfolio of battery electric vehicles. In January 2018, Ford announced plans to invest $11 billion in its electric vehicle initiatives with a goal of offering 40 electrified vehicles by 2022. Two of the confirmed fully electric vehicles including a Mustang-inspired crossover in 2020 and a zero-emissions version of the Ford F-150 pickup.

“We are excited to invest in and partner with Rivian,” added Ford executive chairman Bill Ford. “I have gotten to know and respect RJ, and we share a common goal to create a sustainable future for our industry through innovation.”

In February, Rivian also raised $700 million in funding led by Amazon. Including this round, Rivian has raised about $1.4 billion.

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