Ford Invests in Electric Truck Platform

An electric truck startup found a big-time backer in Ford Motor Co.

Plymouth, Mich.-based Rivian scored a $500 million dollar investment from the auto giant. That means that the maker of the top-selling truck is betting on a company that specializes in electric-motor trucks.

Using Rivian’s “skateboard” platform, the two companies will develop a new vehicle for Ford’s EV lineup, according to an April 24 press release.

“This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility,” said Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. “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 also has financial backing from Amazon, has two vehicle options in development. One is a five-passenger pickup dubbed the R1T. The second is a seven-passenger SUV called the R1S. They boast 400 miles of range and off-road performance.

Ford executives said that the company fits with their EV plans.

“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 president and CEO Jim Hackett said. “At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources.”

Rivian said in its release that it will remain independent of Ford after the investment deal goes through. John Hinrichs, Ford president of automotive, will join Rivian’s board.

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