Volkswagen takes a $5B stake in Rivian


Volkswagen takes a B stake in Rivian

  • Volkswagen just bought a $5 billion stake in Rivian
  • The cash infusion will help bring the smaller Rivian R2 to market
  • The deal gives VW access to Rivian’s software and zonal electronics platform

The Volkswagen Group will invest up to $5 billion in Rivian, laying the groundwork for collaboration on future EVs, the two automakers announced Tuesday.

VW will initially invest $1 billion through an unsecured convertible note, pending regulatory approval and other conditions, according to a Rivian press release. That will be followed by additional investments of up to $4 billion, for a total of $5 billion.

Collaboration between VW and Rivian will include a joint venture “to create next-generation electrical architecture and best-in-class software technology,” the release said. Rivian’s software and zonal electronics platform are expected to form the basis for this joint venture, which VW and Rivian aim to launch before the end of the year. Both automakers aim to launch vehicles resulting from the joint venture in the second half of the decade.

Scout EV plant groundbreaking

VW will also “utilize Rivian’s existing electrical architecture and software platform” in the short term. A more specific timeline wasn’t given, but the release noted that “significant” work has been done over the past few months to validate the compatibility of Rivian’s electrical architecture and software with VW vehicles.

The two automakers also didn’t specify what VW vehicles might benefit from Rivian tech, but the obvious candidates are models from the new Scout EV brand that’s slated to build electric off-roaders at a $2 billion factory in South Carolina. Leveraging nostalgia for trucks made by International Harvester from 1960 to 1980, Scout has promised a lineup of pickup trucks and SUVs based on a “newly-designed all-electric platform.”

Rivian R2

Rivian R2

Scout has released little other information on its vehicles and platform. According to a November report, VW was considering turning to Austria’s Magna rather than using its own engineering and development resources.

Green Car Reports reached out to Scout. A spokesperson declined to comment.

Scout CEO Scott Keogh said in a 2023 interview that Scout was aiming for a $40,000 starting price range, fairly close to the $45,000 base price Rivian is targeting for its R2 electric SUV due in 2026. The cash infusion from VW will likely help bring that model to market.

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