DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co., in another move to shore up its electrification efforts, on Wednesday said it was investing $500 million in electric vehicle startup Rivian and plans to build a battery EV using Rivian's flexible skateboard platform.
The move comes weeks after talks between Rivian and General Motors reportedly broke down. GM reportedly was interested in becoming an equity investor in Rivian, much like Amazon, which led a $700 million investment round in the startup in February.
For Ford, the deal secures another ally to manage costs and development in a hyper-competitive space where it has so far lagged behind much of the competition. While rivals including GM and Tesla have introduced battery-powered vehicles, Ford's first long-range battery EV -- a Mustang-inspired crossover -- won't hit showrooms until 2020. It's also planning a battery-powered F-150 pickup.
Ford is also in discussions with Volkswagen about sharing an EV platform. Ford CEO Jim Hackett on Wednesday said the Rivian investment "does not interfere" with any potential deal with VW. "This is a specific platform that helps us in an area we weren't considering with others," Hackett told reporters on a conference call.