New American carmaker Rivian plans to partner with the world’s oldest carmaker to form a joint venture on electric trucks – and manufacture them for Europe.
In the joint venture, announced this morning, the two companies plan to share costs around the production of “custom-made large electric vans” for both Mercedes-Benz and Rivian.
The joint venture will also “in a few years” operate a plant for Rivian and Mercedes-Benz Vans, “taking advantage of an existing Mercedes-Benz location in Central/Eastern Europe.”
2020 Mercedes-Benz EQV
There, it will produce two electric trucks for the European market. One will be based on Mercedes’ VAN.EA electric architecture, while the other will be based on the second generation of Rivian’s Light Van platform.
The new entity may not be limited to electric trucks, the announcement seems to suggest, as it says that “other options for increasing synergy from the joint venture will also be explored.” That may include joint development, but with separate platforms it doesn’t appear to be part of the original deal.
The companies emphasize cost-effectiveness and rapid scaling as goals of the partnership. Working together will “help make trucks more affordable for commercial customers due to the cost of ownership,” the press release said.
The two companies warn that the joint venture is subject to final agreements and regulatory clarity, and that other details about the joint venture – including the name – are all forthcoming.
Rivian Amazon electric delivery truck
Rivian has orders for up to 100,000 electric trucks Amazonand it’s making them in Illinois. It says it will soon expand availability to commercial customers beyond Amazon.
For Rivian, this could signal a shift in the legacy automaker’s jumping partners. Ford is already an investor in Rivian, and as part of a strategic partnership between the two companies in 2019, they aim to produce The Lincoln electric SUV based on the Rivian based on the platform underpinning R1T and R1S. That model, but not a partnership, is canceled in 2020while the plan is off electric vehicle is co-developed in 2021, as Ford focuses on scaling internally.
Rivian is in a very different financial position than another US electric vehicle company, Tesla, having partnered with Mercedes-Benz on a number of products including developing powertrains for older vehicles. Class B electricity. The German automaker used to own nearly a tenth of the automakers in California. Tesla CEO Elon Musk at one point said that the parent company of Mercedes Daimler saved Teslabecause it struggled before the IPO.