Ford to build Rivian-based EV after $500M investment deal

Rivian got another major backer on Wednesday.

Ford has already pledged $11 billion toward developing a portfolio of electric vehicles and, as of Wednesday, you can add another $500 million to the automakers tab. That's because Ford just announced a half-billion partnership deal with electric vehicle maker Rivian.

Ford's $500 million investment will give Ford a minority stake in Rivian, as well as a spot on the automaker's board. Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of Automotive, will be the Ford representative joining Rivian's seven-member board.

Additionally, Rivian will supply Ford with an electric vehicle platform as part of the investment deal. Ford says it will use Rivian's skateboard EV platform -- which underpins the company's R1S SUV and R1T pickup truck -- to build a new electric vehicle.

Ford didn't give any more details on that future Rivian-based vehicle, but there's plenty of fodder for speculation. Ford has stated that it intends to build a battery-electric version of its best-selling F-150 pickup truck, and Rivian's R1T is proof that the company's EV platform can serve as the basis for a truck. An R1T-based F-150 would seem to make a lot of sense, but it remains to be seen if Ford would be willing to base it's signature F-150 on another company's chassis.

On the other side of the deal, Rivian will be getting -- in addition to a $500 million cash infusion -- access to Ford's manufacturing know-how and global supply network.

"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, which has also received a $700 million investment from Amazon, is targeting a late 2020 on sale date for both its R1T and R1S models.

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