You remember Rivian. It’s an electric carmaker that made a splash at last year’s LA Motor Show when it revealed two supposedly near-production-ready cars (a seven-seat SUV and five-seat pick-up) based on a common ‘skateboard’ platform.
The R1S and R1T, which both claim 0-100kph in 3.0secs and up to 650 kilometres of range, brought much excitement. And it seems not just among potential customers, because one of the world’s biggest car companies has today announced it’s made a $500million investment in the ten-year-old company.
Ford’s investment means one of its execs will join Rivian’s board. More interestingly, though, the companies will also collaborate on a new Ford EV based on Rivian’s skateboard platform. This is in addition to the two EVs Ford has already confirmed it’s working on – a “Mustang-inspired” crossover and a battery-powered version of the F-150 pick-up.
Rivian’s platform claims to package the battery, drive units, suspension, braking and thermal systems all below the height of each wheel, giving much passenger space and a low centre of gravity. They don’t mention any of the gritty details like towing weight or payload certification, presumably because that’s a known debit for any EV and a real range shrinker. And if the Rivian-Ford is to inherit any of the same off-road capability as a Ranger, then charging points in the middle of the CBD simply won’t cut it.
Production of the R1S and R1T is scheduled to begin in 2020,
As for Ford’s Rivian-based EV – we have no idea what form it will take (Rivian has said all its own cars will be “electric adventure vehicles”) nor when it will arrive.
Original source: Rivian bakkie TopGear