Lincoln chooses Rivian’s skateboard platform for its first all-electric vehicle

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In the spring of last year, Ford announced a $500M investment in Rivian, the electric vehicle startup based in Plymouth, Michigan. The investment gave Ford access to Rivian’s quad-motor “skateboard” platform to develop its own battery electric vehicles. Now, we’re seeing the first fruits of that partnership—today, Lincoln announced that it will partner with Rivian to develop its first all-electric vehicle.

The announcement is the latest major product shift for Ford Motor Company, each of which represent part of a massive $11.5 billion investment into the Blue Oval’s electric future: a promised 16 battery-electric production models in the lineup by 2022, plus two dozen plug-in hybrids, all for global markets. (We reported back in 2018 that Ford planned to invest $11.1 billion in the electrification of its lineup; we’ve reached out to clarify the discrepancy and will update this story as necessary.)

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Ford

Lincoln’s first all-electric vehicle joins the Aviator and the Corsair Grand Touring in the EV contingent of the brand’s existing portfolio. Those three vehicles will join an ever-increasing line of electron-assisted cars in Ford’s lineup. Currently, that lineup includes some intriguing ideas like an all-electric F-150—and some, erm, interesting ideas. (The electric F-150 will not ride on the Rivian skateboard platform; instead, it will integrate the existing battery platform that Ford is developing on its own.)

In spring of last year, Hagerty contributor Bozi Tatarevic surmised on Twitter that upcoming Ford products built on the Rivian platform could easily take the shape of an SUV roughly the size of Lincoln’s Aviator, given the Rivian R1S and the Aviator’s similar dimensions.

Lincoln’s investment in electric tech is only logical. Though the days of combustion-free highways may be far away, electric tech seems particularly well-suited to the current luxury market. Think urbanites with relatively short commutes who would value a comfortable, sound-insulated vehicle with plenty of torquey punch. That said, Lincoln will have to chase Tesla for that market share, and it’s hard to imagine Lincoln (or any other brand) overtaking the Silicon Valley sweetheart.

Of course, the folks in Dearborn are not alone in their frenzied efforts to literally jolt product lineups into future-facing offerings. In downtown Detroit, General Motors has dusted off the Hummer nameplate for an all-electric sub-brand, to be positioned under GMC. In lock-step with that, Cadillac has announced its first all-electric vehicle, which is slated to break cover in 2021.

At this time, Lincoln has not made any announcements about expected arrival dates for its new EV or offered any comments on pricing.

Are you looking forward to the next-generation of EVs from American luxury marques like Lincoln and Cadillac? Let us know in the comments section below.

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