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Ford said Wednesday it has invested $500 million in electric truck maker Rivian to build a new battery-powered electric vehicle for the Detroit manufacturer.
The news comes just months after Rivian revealed two new products, an all-electric pickup and SUV, that analysts say could rival established truck manufacturers like General Motors and Ford. Industry executives even see it as real competition for electric car maker Tesla and its SUV and new crossover — the Model X and Model Y.
"This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility," said RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO. "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."
In February, Rivian raised $700 million in a funding round led by Amazon, following rumors that GM would also invest.
Ford said it intends to develop a new vehicle using Rivian's skateboard platform as an addition to its existing plans to develop a portfolio of battery electric vehicles. The company has already 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, as part of its $11 billion EV investment.
The company has said the platform "efficiently packages the battery pack, drive units, suspension, braking and thermal system all below the height of the wheel, leaving the space above for occupants and their gear."
Rivian's skateboard platform