Rivian, Mercedes-Benz Partner to Produce Electric Commercial Vans

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【Summary】The all-electric startup has partnered with the German luxury marque to start a joint venture that’s centered around manufacturing two electric vans at a new facility in Europe.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 17, 2022 7:45 AM PT
Rivian, Mercedes-Benz Partner to Produce Electric Commercial Vans

In addition to coming out with electric cars for consumers to purchase, automakers are also working on EVs for commercial use. Rivian and Mercedes-Benz have just signed a memorandum of understanding to form a strategic partnership to create a joint venture that will focus on producing large commercial electric vans. As part of the joint venture, the two automakers will work with one another to share their resources to reduce the cost of all-electric commercial vans. Additionally, the two will work together to increase production of electric vans. 

Two Large Vans Coming Soon

The partnership will see Rivian and Mercedes produce two different electric vans. One will be built on Mercedes' Vans Electric Architecture (VAN.EA), while the other will utilize Rivian's electric van platform that's called Rivian Light Van (RLV). The joint venture may be focusing on electric commercial vans in the beginning, but they'll explore "further options for increased synergies" along the way. 

Mercedes and Rivian will be building the electric vans on common assembly lines at an "all-new electric-only production facility" that will leverage an existing Mercedes-Benz facility in Europe. The goal is to start building the electric vans in a few years. 

Working together seems to be beneficial for both automakers, as they'll be able to share the high costs associated with building electric vans. The two also believe that they can increase cost efficiency substantially to make commercial vans more affordable. We'll have to wait and see if this is true, but the partnership makes a lot of sense. 

Why Partner With Mercedes?

While Mercedes is known for its high-tech luxury vehicles, the German automaker was one of the first to explore the world of electric commercial vans. The automaker introduced the electric Vito E-Cell commercial van in 2010. That was over a decade ago. Now, Mercedes has four all-electric vans on sale: eVito Panel Van, eSprinter, eVito Tourer, and EQV. Mercedes has plans to expand its all-electric lineup of vans down the road with the eCitan and EQT

Rivian's R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV may be making headlines now, but the automaker's deal with Amazon for 100,000 all-electric vans is what put it on the map. The electric startup is hard at work on delivering the vehicles by 2030. We're not sure if the new partnership will help Rivian deliver electric vans to Amazon or if the upcoming van will be for Rivian's next business venture. 

"Rivian was created to encourage the world to transition away from fossil fuel consumption by creating compelling products and services," said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe. "We're delighted to be partnering with Mercedes Benz on this project. 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."


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