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Ford invests in electric pickup trucks

Ford invests in electric pickup trucks

The automaker invested US$500 million in Rivian

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

A popular pickup truck manufacturer has an eye on the future with a large investment into an electric truck startup company.

Ford Motor Co. is investing US$500 million (CAD$674.5 million) into Rivian, Ford announced yesterday.

Rivian, a Michigan-based automaker, specializes in electric vehicles. Its offerings will include the R1T truck once it comes to market some time in 2020. The R1T can tow up to 5,000 kg (11,023 pounds) and travel up to 400 miles (643 kilometres) on a single charge.

Rivian is also developing the R1S sport utility vehicle.

The investment will help Ford use Rivian’s skateboard platform to build a new electric pickup truck. This vehicle is in addition to Ford’s commitment of bringing a zero-emissions version of the F-150 pickup to drivers.

“As we continue in our transformation of Ford with new forms of intelligent vehicles and propulsion, this partnership with Rivian brings a fresh approach to both,” Jim Hackett, president and CEO of Ford, said in a statement. “At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources.”

Farmers are intrigued by the idea of an electric pickup truck.

Purchasing one, however, would depend on whether it can perform the kind of work needed on a farm, said Ron Parry, a beef producer from Oxford County.

“I use my Ford F-350 to pull a 28-foot cattle trailer and a 30-foot flatbed trailer, so it would depend on how big the motor is going to be,” he told Farms.com. “My truck is rated to pull 50,000 pounds (22,500 kilograms), so unless the electric truck can do that, I don’t think one would be right for me.”

Rivian R1T truck/Brandan Gillogly photo

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