Updated: May 27, 2019
Ford is investing $500 million in Rivian, an electric-vehicle startup. Rivian unveiled the first two battery-powered EVs it plans to start producing by the end of 2020: the R1T, an electric pickup truck, and the R1S, an electric SUV. Both cars are expected to cost more than $68,000 and sell in the luxury space. The pickup is expected to directly compete with Ford’s battery-powered F-150, which is due to launch in 2021. The SUV will go head-to-head with those already offered by the likes of Tesla and Jaguar.
Rivian will likely put some of the Ford money towards building its US car factory, which is eventually expected to have an annual manufacturing capacity of 250,000 vehicles. Rivian’s goal is to sell 20,000 cars in 2021 and twice that in 2022. Other EV startups like Tesla and NIO have struggled to scale up manufacturing, and Rivian is likely to benefit from Ford’s old-world skills.
Rivian’s two planned cars share a skateboard-shaped platform, which is built to house a large battery pack, suspension, axles, cooling system, and four electric motors. In return for its investment, Ford gets access to the skateboard platform for use in its own electric vehicles, as well as a seat on Rivian’s board.