Ford invests $500M in Rivian to tackle Tesla, future electric vehicles

Rivian R1T electric pickup concept

Electric vehicle company Rivian announced on Wednesday that Ford has invested $500 million in it, in return for Rivian’s help developing a new electric Ford model.

Rivian recently took $700 million in investment from Amazon and others.

Rivian reportedly held talks with General Motors earlier in the year. Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe told Bloomberg at last week’s New York auto show that those talks had ended, and hinted that it was because GM wouldn’t agree to Rivian’s plans to build cars for other automakers.

MUST READ: Report: Rivian plans six new models by 2025

In a conference call announcing the investment, both Scaringe and Ford CEO Jim Hackett said that the new vehicle will be built and sold by Ford, based on Rivian’s skateboard chassis and powertrain.

Scaringe has said that Rivian plans to sell its “skateboard” chassis with its electric drivetrain components to other automakers to use to build their own models as long as they don’t compete with models Rivian plans to build. Rivian has announced plans to sell a $70,000 electric adventure pickup as well as a seven-passenger SUV.

Both Ford and Rivian have said they are working on new high-performance electric off-road SUVs, but this investment likely doesn’t come in time for that project from Ford.

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Ford has also announced plans to develop an all-electric version of its top selling F-150 pickup. In January, Ford sales and marketing Vice President Jim Farley told investors after the Detroit Auto Show, “We’re going to be electrifying the F-Series—battery electric and hybrid.”

In early Rivian development mules, Rivian used F-150 bodies for testing. However, Ford says its electric F-150 development will continue in parallel with its Rivian project.

Most recently, Rivian said it will develop six new models of its own by 2025, as well as models built for other companies.

As part of the investment deal, Ford President of Global Operations Joe Hinrichs will take a seat on Rivian’s board.

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