Ford to invest $500M in electric vehicle startup Rivian

April 24, 2019 - 8:43 am

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is sinking a half-billion dollars into electric vehicle startup Rivian in a deal that has the companies working together on a new Ford electric vehicle based on Rivian underpinnings.

Ford will become a minority partner in Rivian, which is based outside of Detroit and recently rolled out a new electric pickup truck and an SUV that will go on sale late next year.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett says in a statement that the partnership will bring a fresh approach to Ford's intelligent and electric vehicles. He says Rivian will benefit from Ford's manufacturing expertise and resources.

Rivian will remain an independent company. But Ford President of Automotive Joe Hinrichs will get a seat on the startup's seven-member board.

The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.

Rivian has a large engineering and administrative operation in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth Township, Michigan, as well as outposts in San Jose and Irvine, California, and Surrey, England. The company also is starting manufacturing operations in a 2.6-million-square-foot factory in Normal, Illinois, that was once used by Mitsubishi.

The company's R1T pickup and R1S SUV that are supposed to have more than 400 miles of range on a single charge. The five-seat pickup is aimed at the market for off-road capable trucks with outdoorsy features, a market that electric vehicle competitor Tesla Inc. has not yet entered. A basic truck with smaller 230-mile (370 kilometers) battery pack will start under $70,000. A truck with the longer-range battery will be around $90,000. They'll roll out in the U.S. first, then to other markets.

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