Mercedes-Benz Vans and Rivian Automotive have announced a ‘’strategic’’ new partnership that focuses on delivering sustainable, large battery-electric vans to Europe.
Set to start within the next few years, the partnership will see Mercedes-Benz Vans and Rivian create an all-new manufacturing company that will operate in an existing Mercedes-Benz site in Central or Eastern Europe.
There are two new vans that are planned for production along these common assembly lines. The first of these will be based on the VAN.EA platform - the all-electric platform of Mercedes’ Vans division. The second will be a model based on the second-generation Light Van (RLV) platform from Rivian.
Currently, American-based Rivian only has one electric van in its line-up; the EDV, which it produces for Amazon in its solitary plant in Illinois. By contrast, Mercedes-Benz Vans has a much wider range that includes the EQV, eVito and eSprinter - of which the next generation will be launched in 2023 - among others.
Mathias Green, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: ‘’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.’’
RJ Scaringe, Chief Executive Officer of Rivian, said: ‘’Rivian was created to encourage the world to transition away from fossil fuel consumption by creating compelling products and services. We’re delighted to be partnering with Mercedes‑Benz on this project.’’
As the duo enter the final stages of negotiations and await the relevant regulatory clearances, it has also been announced that by signing a Memorandum of Understanding, further collaborative options could be explored in the future.