Back in November last year Rivian launched the world’s first electric “adventure” vehicles.

In February the Illinois start up announced a $700 million investment led by Amazon.

This week Ford revealed it has given the company another $500 million and it is expecting to get an electric car in return.

Rivian was founded in 2009 by Robert “RJ” Scaringe, who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a doctorate in mechanical engineering.

After two name changes, the company began focusing on autonomous electric vehicles in 2011.

It is accepting orders and will start deliveries of its R1T utility and R1S 7-seat SUV late next year.

Based on the same chassis and running gear they deliver a range of 650km+ and provide an unmatched combination of performance, off-road capability and utility.

Rivian must be doing something write to attract this sort of attention and investment from heavyweights such as Ford and Amazon.

Ford and Rivian have agreed to work together to develop an all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle for Ford’s growing EV portfolio using Rivian’s skateboard platform.

“We are excited to invest in and partner with Rivian,” Ford’s executive chairman, Bill Ford, said.

“I have gotten to know and respect RJ, and we share a common goal to create a sustainable future for our industry through innovation.”

RJ Scaringe said: “This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility.

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.”

The jointly developed electric vehicle comes in addition to Ford’s existing plans to develop a portfolio of battery electric vehicles.

As part of its previously announced $11 billion EV investment, Ford already has confirmed two key fully electric vehicles: a Mustang-inspired crossover coming in 2020 and a zero-emissions version of the best-selling F-150 pickup.

Rivian will remain an independent company but Ford’s president of Automotive, Joe Hinrichs, will join Rivian’s board.

CHECKOUT: Mrs Ford drove EV (but it wasn’t his)

CHECKOUT: The AK-47 of electric cars

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Ford's new $500 million electric car

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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