A Future Ford EV Will Be Built on a Rivian Platform

Rivian founder RJ Scaringe and Ford's executive chairman Bill Ford

Rivian founder RJ Scaringe and Ford's executive chairman Bill Ford

Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it will invest $500 million in USA electric vehicle startup Rivian Automotive LLC, joining Amazon.com Inc in backing the potential rival to Silicon Valley's Tesla Inc. That's because Ford just announced a half-billion partnership deal with electric vehicle maker Rivian. He says Rivian will benefit from Ford's manufacturing expertise and resources.

Amazon also said this week that it will partner with Ford in providing cloud-based transportation services.

Ford offered no details about what kind of vehicle it plans based off of Rivian's technology or when it will arrive.

Rivian already has developed two clean-sheet vehicles with adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision.

"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", Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett said. But Ford President of Automotive Joe Hinrichs will get a seat on the startup's seven-member board.

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Rivian recently completed a $700 million investment round led by Amazon and was reportedly in discussions with General Motors to create a similar partnership to the one being forged with Ford. The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval.

"It does not interfere" with Volkswagen, Hackett said during a conference call on Wednesday.

This is the second large investment in Rivian in recent months. Ford has been talking about electric vehicles, specifically pickup trucks. Production of the R1S and R1T is scheduled to begin in 2020, though you can preorder them now with a $1,000 deposit.

The Blue Oval, which is desperately playing catch-up on all things EV, has concluded that it's best to partner with an electric auto disruptor, hence today's news.

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan.

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