Electric vehicle startup Rivian, which is making a major push at the New York Auto Show this week, just got a $500-million boost from Ford. The major automaker's investment follows a previous $700 million round earlier this year led by Amazon.
Rivian has generated considerable attention with its smartly designed all-electric pickup truck and a big green SUV. It's a potentially huge market in the truck-obsessed U.S. and could prove very attractive to those concerned about the planet but who also love to get out into the great outdoors. The investment is a major vote of confidence in the idea, so much so that part of the plan is for Ford to use the Rivian platform to launch an EV of its own.
Rivian's vehicles also have semi-autonomous features, including lidar sensors up front for better self-driving accuracy and safety. Ford could benefit from that platform, as well.
So will people buy an electric F-150?
Rivian will doubtless benefit from Ford's manufacturing experience; who better to partner with than the folks who perfected the assembly line? It's also another shot in the arm for the electrification movement, giving consumers one more option to go electric.