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Ford vehicle on Rivian platform

Discussion in 'Vehicles sharing Rivian platform' started by Domenick, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    #1 Domenick, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
    In April, Ford invested $500 million into Rivian. As a part of that deal, Ford says it will build an electric vehicle using the Rivian platform.

    A lot of the discussion around this has assumed the vehicle in question will be a pickup. But maybe it isn't.

    Ford is, separately, working on an electric F-150. The Rivian R1T is slightly smaller than the F-150 so it would strike me as odd for them to offer an electric version of their traditional truck, and then a slightly smaller one. I suspect it's more likely that the Rivian platform will underpin an SUV. Maybe something like an electric take on the Flex, for instance.

    I am, of course, open to arguments for other vehicle types (just remember Ford already has a long-range Mustang-inspired electric crossover in the oven already).
  2. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    Looks like this speculation was pretty accurate. As InsideEVs reports, Ford CEO Jim Hackett has said about the upcoming vehicle "You shouldn't go down the path of assuming it's a pickup." Good advice!

    So, with its own electric pickup program already underway, as well as an electric "Mustang-inspired" crossover, it makes sense that the Ford will be an SUV.

    Just as interesting is the news that the vehicle will be built at the Rivian plant. That should add to confidence that the company will, indeed, make it to production (in case there was ever any doubt). The only thing missing from this is the time frame.

    Rivian was supposedly going to kick off production activity with the R1T pickup truck. That could, of course, still be the case. Building the Ford and Rivian SUV on the same line may be the most capital-efficient way to go, so it may well be the Ford vehicle follows the R1S timeline.
  3. EyeOnEVs

    EyeOnEVs Karting

    Mar 5, 2019
    Why couldn't the Ford SUV be the "Mustang-inspired" crossover? Did Ford stipulate these would be two different EVs? They could have and I missed it. My "expectation" is that the SUV will be a "full" SUV (ie, Explorer / R1S class) so it's more than likely they will be two different EVs but that would appear to be speculation at this point.

    Rivian said that initially but that has not been the case for quite a while now. Rivian will produce both the R1T and R1S at the same time. From Rivian's FAQ section (and what was basically in my pre-order confirmation email back in April):

    "Deliveries begin at the end of 2020, based on your place in line and configuration of your vehicle. Fully equipped vehicles with the highest performance level and 135 kWh/180 kWh packs will enter production first. Our 105 kWh pack will follow within 12 months of the start of production."​

    Why wouldn't that be the case? Allowing Ford to go first would be a huge strategic error by Rivian. If I was RJ I would have made it clear when negotiating the partnership with Ford that Rivian's EAVs will be the first to roll off the assembly line. Even if there is some type of financial kick back to Rivian for every Ford vehicle that gets manufactured, I can't imagine Rivian would allow Ford to beat them to market with an EV SUV from their own assembly line.
  4. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    I think we assume the "Mustang-inspired" crossover is separate from the Rivian-based SUV because they've been talking about it for some time now. It's supposedly going to be shown this year (I'm guessing LA Auto Show). News of the "full-size" SUV and the Rivian deal is a lot more recent and I doubt the design work is even completely finished yet.

    Regarding building both the R1T and R1S at the same time, thanks! It's hard to keep up with every detail and I don't remember this being mentioned. Good to know.

    It makes sense that the Ford would begin production later as you say. As I was reminded while writing the earlier part of my comment, the overall Rivian design -- inside and out -- has got to be a lot further along than Ford's. Plus, as you say, it makes strategic sense for Rivian to get its product out ahead of its partner's.

    I think the two vehicles will be differentiated quite a bit, though, so it's hard to say how much they will compete with each other. I expect the Rivian version to be a bit more premium, with an emphasis on its adventure-vehicle status.

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