Future looks bright for Rivian EV company after Ford invests $500m

By Chris Bertenshaw | 1 May 2019

RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO, and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford announce a $500 million Ford investment in Rivian

RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO, and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford announce a $500 million Ford investment in Rivian

In a savvy move, Rivian and Ford have joined forces to share resources on EV platforms and architecture. For some time Ford has been creating multiple partnerships with firms that are ahead on EV technology such as Volkswagen and Magma, but this latest deal makes considerable sense for Ford.

As Ford is refocusing its business around SUVs, pickups and ultimately electric vehicles, the establishment of a partnership with Rivian makes a great deal of business sense. Rivian has spent close to a decade developing a unique EV architecture specifically for SUVs and pickups.

Deal is sensible move for both companies

Likewise for Rivian, one of the major pitfalls for fledgling EV companies is perfecting the manufacturing process. Rival Tesla is the prime example of this problem. The Elon Musk run company has burned through large cash reserves trying, but has missed, stated production deadlines.

A partnership with Ford, that has over a century of mass-manufacture expertise, facilities in place and established supply lines means that bringing the Rivian product to market should be considerably easier and more profitable than its rivals.

It is rumored that the Ford F series truck, the most popular vehicle in the US with over 900,000 models delivered in 2018, will get an EV version in 2020 and based on a Rivian EV chassis. This represents a substantial show of confidence from Ford, but given the excellent public reception to Rivian products so far it looks like a sensible amount of risk on behalf of Ford.   

Rivian shows off its products at LA motor show to great effect

Rivian has very quickly become one of the new darlings of the EV world after their press launch of a number of products at the LA Motor Show in November 2018. Aimed mainly at premium markets but with a number of versions at different price points, Rivian has created an electric pickup and SUV offering that has beaten the incumbent players to market.

The company's USP is that these offerings focus on capability, offering an electric range of 400 miles, 0-60 times of 3 seconds, four-wheel-drive off road capability and a huge towing capacity of 11,000 pounds that is similar to the Ford F-150 truck. As a result of an excellent press launch, director of corporate communications at Rivian, Michael McHale, reports that pre-orders are substantial.

The Ford deal comes on top of another significant deal for Rivian with Amazon that is believed to total a similar amount to the Ford deal. Amazon hopes to use Rivian's development for its own commercial EV delivery trucks. 

See also: Ford and Rivian to make battery electric vehicle