Ford Motor Co. will invest $500 million in Rivian, an electric vehicle (EV) developer, and will use the startup’s platform to co-develop a new plug-in electric vehicle. According to The Wall Street Journal, the platform uses a “skateboard” design that features a large battery under the floor and electric motors powering each wheel.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the trucks will be able to travel around 400 miles per charge, and have a “ruggedness” and “off-road capability” lacking in today’s EVs.
“We have a lot of experience in electrification,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of automotive operations, said on a call with investors and reporters, the Verge reports. “But there’s also a lot we don’t know, and there’s also things we can still learn. We don’t have all the answers, and we don’t pretend to.”
The Verge reported that Hinrichs said the deal with Rivian is a “significant opportunity” to get a new EV on the road faster and cheaper than if the automaker had developed one from the ground up. The Ford investment also helps establish Rivian as a serious rival to EV maker Tesla, Trucks.com reports.
These plans will be separate from Ford’s own $11 billion investment in electric vehicles, with plans including a fully electric version of its F-150 full-size pickup.