Rivian and Mercedes team up to accelerate production of electric vans

With the aim of bringing next-gen electric vans to the streets sooner rather than later, Rivian and Mecedes-Benz have entered a new partnership to rapidly scale up their production. The collaboration is expected to bring about vehicles bearing the badges of both automakers, with streamlined manufacturing hoped to keep their sticker prices to a minimum.

The new partnership is at this stage a Memorandum of Understanding marking the initial stages of a collaboration between Rivian and Mercedes-Benz Vans. Plans from here are to enter binding agreements and obtain the regulatory approval for a joint manufacturing company that will operate out of an electric vehicle factory in Europe.

Here, the company would produce a pair of large electric vans, one based on Mercedes’ VAN.EA electric van architecture and the other on the Rivian Light Van platform. The pair plan to share the costs of the endeavor with the aim of optimizing and scaling up manufacturing to produce large electric vans for the Rivian and Mercedes-Benz brands.

“We are sharing investments and technology because we also share the same strategic ambition: accelerating the electrification of the van market with sustainable and superior products for our customers,” said Mathias Geisen, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

Mercedes has been producing electric vans since the first electric Vito arrived back in 2010, while Rivian, a relative newcomer to the space, began shipping its bespoke electric delivery vans for Amazon earlier this year. By teaming up, the two companies believe they can streamline the operations and make the vehicles more cost effective, ultimately producing vans at a more affordable price point.

“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,” said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe.

No firm timeline has been placed on the venture, though production of the vans is expected to start in “a few years.”

Source: Mercedes-Benz Vans

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