Ford makes $500 million equity investment in EV company Rivian

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Car manufacturing giant Ford Motor Company has joined into a strategic partnership with e-mobility company Rivian. Thereby, Ford will make an equity investment of $500 million to the manufacturer of all-electric battery pick-up trucks and SUV’s. In this partnership, the two companies say they will jointly develop an entirely new electric car.

Ford says it will use Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform, which includes the basic chassis, suspension and battery back and electric propulsion system. The skateboard platform is said to be flexible so a new body can be fitted. Rivian says that its battery pack is the worlds largest at 180 kWh, providing long range even for large SUVs and pickup trucks.

The latter has developed the R1T pickup truck, running on battery power, as well as a seven-seater R1S SUV. Both vehicles have a range bigger than 400 miles (640 km). According to the company, these cars will be released to the market by 2020.

Ford, as well, announced to release a sporty electric vehicle, which had been inspired by its infamous Mustang model, in 2020. Additionally, the company will also bring to the market an EV version of its F-150 pickup truck. The two cars result from Ford’s $11 billion EV investment plan. The business decision to join forces with Rivian, to produce a new electric vehicle, is subject to customary regulatory approval.

According to a recent report by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), jobs in the EV sector had been rising 16% over the last two years. The industry to date employs 254,000 people, mainly in Michigan, California, Texas and Ohio. The number crunchers wrote that currently, more than one million EVs are on the U.S.’ roads with nearly 50,000 sales in December 2018 alone. The sales numbers in EV’s are rising significantly worldwide as governments put more preferable policies in place to incentivize their purchase.

A little north of the United States, for example, the market could soon be in higher demand for EVs, as Canada has set federal targets for zero-emission vehicles. According to the plans, which had been announced last week, 10% of sales of light-duty vehicles should comprise zero-emission options by 2025, with that number to increase to 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

In its Budget 2019, the government of Canada also pointed out that it would invest CAN$ 130 million (US$ 96.2 million), into comprehensive charging infrastructure. This will pertain to residential chargers, those at work-places, to the support of all-electric fleets for business and chargers in public places.