The Blue Oval has invested US$500 million (RM2.07 billion) into automotive technology company Rivian, which has a pair of clean-sheet design vehicles in the pipeline, namely the five-seater R1T pick-up truck and the seven-seater R1S SUV. The two companies have agreed to work together to develop an all-new battery-electric vehicle using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform, Ford said.

Rivian will remain an independent company, and the investment is subject to regulatory approval, Ford said. Subsequent to the investment, Ford president of automotive Joe Hinrichs will join the seven-member board at Rivian. “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,” said Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe.

The American automaker intends to develop a new vehicle with Rivian’s flexible platform, and this will be in addition to Ford’s existing plans for the development of battery-electric vehicles. Thus far, the automaker has confirmed two EVs, the Mustang-inspired crossover, and a fully-electric version of the popular F-150 pick-up truck.

Rivian hopes to put the R1S SUV and R1T pick-up truck models into the market from US$68,000 (RM281,180) onwards, with the R1S aimed at the likes of the Tesla Model X as well as models from Land Rover and Porsche, The New York Times reports. The publication adds that Rivian has set a goal of selling 20,000 vehicles in 2021 and double that in 2022. These are slated for production at a plant in Normal, Illinois, which was acquired in 2016.

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