Rivian partners with Mercedes-Benz to make electric vans and have a European factory

Initially, the agreement only concerns commercial vehicles. However, the companies have already warned that “Other options to increase the synergies of the joint venture will also be explored.” That may mean a lot of possibilities for both Rivian and Mercedes-Benz, but let’s explore the concrete plans first for now.

According to automakers, European electric vans will use two platforms: the MB Vans Electric Architecture (VAN.EA) and the Rivian Light Van (RLV). The former already underpins the Mercedes-Benz EQV. When Rivian developed his vehicle on it, the American VE will enter a new market segment for its products. As for the RLV platform, it underpins the EDV 500, EDV 700, and EDV 900, also known as Amazon delivery vans.

Mercedes-Benz currently sells an electric version of the Sprinter, which competes in the same market segment as EDV products. However, it has an adapted platform created from a combustion engine architecture, just like the EQC. With Rivian’s platform, the German automaker can deliver a product without the same compromises.

For Rivian, the agreement allows it to enter the European market with local products. Although it likely exports the R1T and R1S from the United States, building its electric vans in “a brand new fully electric production plant” should “to help make pickup trucks more affordable for commercial customers driven by total cost of ownership.” The companies revealed that this plant will be “an existing Mercedes-Benz site in Central and Eastern Europe.”

Although Mercedes Benz has a factory in Kecskemet, Hungary, it is currently very busy manufacturing the company’s compact cars, such as the A-Class, B-Class and CLA-Class. The problem is that the company in May revealed plans to cut its entry-level vehicles by nearly half because they aren’t as cost-effective as high-end luxury cars. With this, the Hungarian factory could be dedicated to electric vehicles.

However, what seems most likely is that the German company could convert one of its factories in Germany to produce these electric vans, thereby ensuring that its German employees will keep their jobs once the switch to electricity is made. ended. With Rivian products, the factory should always be busy.

If Mercedes-Benz can help Rivian enter Europe without spending billions on a new factory, the US electric vehicle maker can offer the German partner a platform for electric pickups and SUVs – a platform that has received lots of praise. Mercedes-Benz attempted to sell a pickup truck with the X-Class, but the ill-fated product only lasted three years.

As the automakers have said, their partnership could pay off far more than electric vans. With Mercedes-Benz, Rivian is also approaching the Chinese market: it should not be forgotten that Geely is a relevant shareholder of Mercedes-Benz and its partner with the smart brand.

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