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The First Result of Ford and Rivian’s Partnership: a Lincoln Electric EV

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Lincoln will soon have an electric vehicle in its lineup, thanks to the partnership between Ford and Rivian

Last year, Ford invested $500 million in Rivian, the company that made a big splash with its presentation of all-electric SUV and pickup-truck concepts at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Since then, speculation about what was to come out of that investment and partnership has caromed in all directions. One of the scenarios that have come up often has to do with the F-150, for which we know Ford is preparing an electric variant.

Now we know that the first fruit of the Ford-Rivian partnership will carry the Lincoln name. Ford's luxury brand announced today that the electric vehicle being developed with Rivian will wear its badge.

The product, to be built on Rivian's flexible skateboard platform, will be Lincoln's first electric vehicle. The brand did not specify what type of vehicle it will be. Nor is it known where it will be assembled or when it will be released for sale.

What are the odds it will be an SUV?

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Photo: D.Boshouwers

“Working with Rivian marks a pivotal point for Lincoln as we move toward a future that includes fully electric vehicles. This vehicle will take Quiet Flight to a new place – zero emissions, effortless performance and connected and intuitive technology. It’s going to be stunning.”

- Joy Falotico, president of Lincoln

Last week, Motor Trend reported that the vehicle born out of the partnership with Rivian would be a Lincoln, quoting Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe, who said it would be "in the SUV space”, adding it would “very different” from the R1S that Rivian plans to launch later this year.

The Rivian plant in Normal, Illinois is already being equipped to assemble three models: the R1T electric truck, the R1S SUV and a large delivery van for Amazon, which placed an order for 100,000 units late last year. When Mitsubishi operated the 1.9-million sq ft plant, it had an annual capacity of 240,000 vehicles and could build both cars and SUVs.

Rivian R1S
Photo: Rivian
Rivian R1S

A spokesperson for Rivian said that no details regarding the production of the Lincoln vehicle would be forthcoming for now. The question of whether Rivian will build the whole vehicle or ship the chassis to a Ford plant for final assembly remains an open one.

"Our vehicle development partnership with Ford is an exciting opportunity to match our technology with Lincoln's vision of innovation and refinement. We are proud to collaborate on Lincoln's first all-electric vehicle."

- Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe, in statement released by Lincoln

Lincoln has invested heavily in electrification, but the company has focused primarily on the plug-in hybrid models in its current crossovers, including the Aviator and Corsair. Its American luxury rival, Cadillac, has promised to lead General Motors' electrification efforts, with President Steve Carlisle stating that by 2030, the majority - if not all - of Cadillacs sold will be battery electric.