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Ford To Invest $500 Mln In Electric Truck Maker Rivian

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Ford Motor Co. (F) plans to invest $500 million in electric truck maker Rivian, the companies said Wednesday. They will also work together to develop an all-new battery electric vehicle for Ford using Rivian's skateboard platform.

Ford's investment comes just months after Rivian revealed two new products, an all-electric pickup and SUV. The automotive startup claims that its five-passenger R1T all-electric pickup truck and seven-passenger R1S SUV will deliver a range of more than 400 miles on a single charge. The vehicles will be available in late 2020.

Rivian has development centers in Plymouth, Michigan; San Jose and Irvine, California; and Surrey, England; in addition to 2.6-million-square-foot manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois.

Rivian has raised $700 million in a funding round in February that was led by Amazon.com. (AMZN).

Ford said the development of a new vehicle using Rivian's flexible skateboard platform is in addition to its own existing plans to develop a portfolio of battery electric vehicles.

Ford has previously said it would invest $11 billion in electric vehicles. The automaker has confirmed two key fully electric vehicles - a Mustang-inspired crossover coming in 2020 and an electric version of its popular F-150 pickup truck.

The F-150 has been the top selling U.S. vehicle by any manufacturer for more than 40 years. Ford sold more than a million units of the F-series trucks last year, with the F-150 accounting for nearly a third of Ford's sales. Ford has previously said it would also make a hybrid version of the F-150.

Following Ford's investment, Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of Automotive, will join Rivian's seven-member board. Rivian will remain an independent company.

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