It was back in April of this year when Ford announced a $500 million investment into electric adventure vehicle maker Rivian. At the time, details were scarce, but we speculated the resulting vehicle would be a large electric SUV. Here's what we stated:
Ford says that the Rivian deal and new offering are "in addition to Ford’s existing plans to develop a portfolio of battery electric vehicles" and notes that "Ford already has 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."
So then this leads us to believe Rivian's platform will either lie under a smaller Ford truck or, more likely, power a large electric Ford SUV.
This speculative statement by us seems even truer today as Ford CEO Hackett told Motor Trend the following in a recent interview:
"You shouldn't go down the path of assuming it's a pickup."
If not a pickup, then it most certainly has to be an SUV, but will it carry a traditional Ford name, like Explorer, for example? Or will this be a fresh build, unlike any Ford we've ever seen before?
Hackett spoke on the progress of the joint effort to, as well as on the levels of decisions made:
"At the senior levels it's pretty close. I think a lot of that has been settled, but not ready to talk about."
The Ford-Rivian vehicle will ride on Rivian's skateboard platform, so we assume it will be sized like the R1T truck and/or R1S SUV. Both are large vehicles. Ford will design and make the body though, as well as the interior bits and other parts too.
The vehicle will not likely be built by Rivian at its factory in Illinois. As Hackett stated:
"It would be counterproductive for us to try and make what they have capacity to do in the beginning here, because they've got a factory in Illinois that meets a lot of our criteria."
It's a large factory with a lot of potential annual output, of which Rivian will utilize only a small bit in the beginning, so making electric Fords on-site seems like an excellent idea to us.
Gallery: Rivian R1S SUV
Source: Motor Trend