The Lincoln brand is rumored to be the first to gain a new battery-electric vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard electric vehicle architecture. The rumor comes just a week after Ford Motor Company announced a $500 million equity investment into the electric vehicle startup company.
Ford disclosed plans to leverage Rivian’s platform for a Lincoln product at a recent employee town hall regarding the Rivian investment, according to sources in attendance. Details of the vehicle were not disclosed and, frankly, likely still being worked out between Ford and Rivian given the newness of the deal.
Thus far Rivian has displayed two products–the R1S and R1T–that leverage the company’s innovative skateboard architecture. Both products are focused on off-roading and overall “adventure” capability. The R1S SUV has an estimated starting price of $72,600, while the R1T pickup truck will allegedly start at $69,000; both are slated to start production in 2020.
Selecting the Lincoln brand as the first to gain access to Rivian’s architecture comes as little surprise. The Rivian architecture is going to be expensive–as evidenced in their respective starting prices– until Rivian and Ford are able to scale it out with volume models. Starting with a higher-priced Lincoln vehicle to start gaining scale to ultimately trickle down to the Ford brand is a plausible strategy.
It is anyone’s guess what type of vehicle Lincoln will rollout or the timeline for making it happen, other than it likely being some form of utility vehicle. Perhaps the return of the Lincoln truck?