The electric car manufacturer Rivian and Mercedes-Benz have joined hands to build electric vans in Europe. The announcement came in on Thursday when both the companies, Rivian and Mercedes, said that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a joint venture.
Together, Rivian and Mercedes will build and operate a factory in Central or Eastern Europe, near one of Mercedes-Benz’s existing plants, that will produce vans for both brands. The new EV factory will also be Rivian’s first international presence. Mercedes-Benz expects the partnership will enter production in a few years. The companies didn’t release details more details about the venture, including investment figures.
Rivian has an order of 100,000 electric delivery vans from its investor, but the EV maker has struggled to produce them fast enough. The automaker also plans to start selling commercial vans next year. On the other hand, Mercedes said it wants its vans production to be all-electric, and that it won’t introduce any new designs with internal combustion engines after 2025.
Mercedes said that the move will benefit both companies adding the move would help the partners shoulder the multibillion-euro cost of scaling up electric-van manufacturing. “We will both benefit significantly from this,” Mathias Geisen, who heads Mercedes’s vans business, told reporters. Rivian and Mercedes’ partnership will help each company leverage investments and costs.
The precise schedule of production at the new facility has not been revealed.“We can tell you more as soon as the contract negotiations have been finalized,” Geisen said.
Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe in a statement.“Mercedes‑Benz is one of the world’s best known and respected automotive companies, and we believe that together we will produce truly remarkable electric vans which will not only benefit our customers but the planet.”
As per the details, the vans will be based on Mercedes-Benz’s electric van platform, VAN.EA, and on Rivian’s second-generation Rivian Light Van (RLV) platform.
Notably, the agreement is a memorandum of understanding and is subject to regulatory approval. Earlier, Rivian sort of had a similar deal with Ford to build an electric pickup truck in partnership with them, but the automaker rolled that back.