Veteran automaker Ford Motor Co. announced on Wednesday that it is investing $500 million in electric truck maker Rivian. The investment will allow Rivian to help Ford develop an all-electric vehicle based on the startup’s company’s skateboard platform.
In a press release, RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO, noted that the equity investment is a key milestone for the electric truck maker. “This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility. 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,” he said.
Ford’s executive chairman Bill Ford noted that Rivian and Ford actually share a goal of creating a sustainable future. “We are excited to invest in and partner with Rivian. I have gotten to know and respect RJ, and we share a common goal to create a sustainable future for our industry through innovation,” he said.
After staying in stealth mode for years, Rivian stepped out of the shadows late last year with an impressive debut of its first two vehicles, the R1T luxury pickup truck and the R1S seven-seater SUV, both of which are designed with the company’s flexible skateboard platform at their core. This is the same platform that will be used to help Ford develop its own all-electric vehicles.
Even before its investment in Rivian, Ford had already announced its initiatives to develop all-electric vehicles. So far, the veteran carmaker has confirmed two vehicles: a crossover based on the iconic Mustang, and a zero-emissions version of the company’s most successful vehicle to date, the Ford F-150 pickup truck.
Ford president and CEO Jim Hackett believes that Ford and Rivian could benefit from each other. “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. At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources,” he said.
Ford’s investment in Rivian comes just a few months after the electric truck startup confirmed a $700 million investment round led by Amazon. Since it was founded in 2009, Rivian has raised more than $1.5 billion from investors. Rivian’s value has not been announced by the company, though investor website Dealroom.com estimates that the electric truck maker currently has a value of around $5 billion to $7 billion.