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Ford abandons plans to develop electric vehicles with Rivian

Rivian, the truck-focused electric vehicle startup, may not play as much of a role in the future of Ford’s electric vehicle strategy as it has previously indicated.

In one Automotive News In the interview cited by the publication on Friday, Ford CEO Jim Farley confirmed that the two companies had plans to develop future electric vehicles together.

“We want to invest in Rivian — we love their future as a company — but at this point we’re going to develop our own vehicles,” said Farley. Doubles Ford’s electric vehicle production plan by 2023.

Ford and Rivian plan to co-develop an electric Lincoln SUV based on Rivian’s skateboard platform. Then in April 2020, the automaker confirmed that it was still involved with Rivian because “alternative means” in the future based platform.

Rivian chassis R1T, R1S

Rivian chassis R1T, R1S

Ford owns about 12% of Rivian and invested in the most recent EV startup earlier this year; but in EV tech stock market mispricing, Rivian now has a higher market valuation than Ford. As of the end of October, Rivian reports that it has produced 180 R1T pickups.

Ford also until recently had a seat on Rivian’s board of directors. In an interview with Automotive News, Farley pointed out that this wasn’t a bad relationship and called it “some of the best collaborations we’ve had with another company.”

Rivian R1S

Rivian R1S

In the report, Farley points to the difficulties in combining Rivian’s electrical architecture with Ford’s embedded software, hinting that the business models will be somewhat different.

The difference in strategy can be pushed to the extreme with Ford’s professional EV fleet, as it aims to make money from fleet management. On the other hand, Rivian is supplying Amazon’s electric vans, which have Alexa integration, and Amazon’s delivery logistics smart devices, but otherwise it’s more of a consumer-oriented lifestyle model.

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