Rivian and Ford suspend electric car plans as they seek separate paths

The electric-car companies have ‘mutually agreed to take separate paths’ but they’re still planning to work together in some other areas, says Rivian Signs are emerging that two of the largest names in new-vehicle…

Rivian and Ford suspend electric car plans as they seek separate paths

The electric-car companies have ‘mutually agreed to take separate paths’ but they’re still planning to work together in some other areas, says Rivian

Signs are emerging that two of the largest names in new-vehicle technology are no longer working together.

On Friday Ford and Rivian Automotive said they were suspending talks about a joint effort to develop an electric vehicle. “Ford and Rivian have mutually agreed to take separate paths to advance these important technologies,” Ford said in a statement.

“These are important collaborations to bring new models and technologies to market and we remain committed to the industry-wide trend toward electrification,” the Detroit automaker added.

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Rivian said it was still talking to Ford. “Ford and Rivian remain in active discussions about electric vehicles,” the company said in a statement. “At this time we have no further comment on this matter.”

Rivian is privately held and so it did not immediately report its financials. But over the past two years, the concept car maker raised $455m in funding. In April, it said it had raised another $85m led by China’s Sichuan Changan Automobile, and boosted its valuation to about $1.3bn.

Rivian designs and manufactures vehicles that are self-driving and have fully electric powertrains. In March, Ford had said it would work with Rivian on its electric cars. The companies wouldn’t comment on the status of those talks.

No final decision has been made about what the companies plan to design and build, Ford said, adding that they are still exploring partnerships, including around connectivity and other technologies.

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Rivian said it will release its electric vehicle in 2021, when the vehicles can reach 70 miles per hour, according to several published reports. That would be a year before electric vehicles are expected to achieve the additional 70 mph speed limit. Rivian previously announced that the vehicle would include a drive and power management system from Norcar. It already has an agreement with Ford to develop battery packs.

Ford plans to introduce 12 to 15 new battery-electric and hybrid vehicles by 2023. The automaker said that by 2022 it would have half of its vehicles on 10-year fuel economy improvement cycles, and two-thirds on 15-year improvement cycles.

Companies such as Uber and Ford are working on creating a car that could go electric. Uber is investing in high-speed charging stations to get consumers to buy electric cars. The ride-hailing company also said in October that it bought up to 50,000 electric taxis from Hong Kong carmaker YT’s electric motorbikes division.

Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett has said the company is working to develop a new lineup of consumer electric vehicles in the next six years. Ford, which used to produce the now-closed Mercury brand, said that three years ago it stopped producing all Mercury-brand vehicles, and plans to sell about 500 in the 2018 model year.

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