Rivian’s electric van deal with Mercedes on hold
Rivian has put on pause plans first announced in September to build electric vans in Europe at a plant jointly operated with Mercedes-Benz.
Rivian said on Monday it is pausing the plan to instead focus on its existing van and consumer vehicles, though the company remains open to exploring partnerships with Mercedes in the future.
“At this point in time, we believe focusing on our consumer business, as well as our existing commercial business, represent the most attractive near-term opportunities to maximize value for Rivian,” RJ Scaringe, Rivian’s CEO and co-founder, said in a statement.
Rivian and Mercedes in September signed a memorandum of understanding for a deal to build vans at a newly constructed plant in Europe. Under the plan, both automakers would build large electric vans at the plant using their own respective platforms.
Rivian Amazon electric delivery truck
Mercedes on Monday said it plans to go ahead with the plant, which will be located in Jawor, Poland, where Mercedes already builds internal-combustion engines and batteries. The automaker said Rivian’s exit from the deal won’t have an impact on the timeline for its own van to be built in Jawor.
Mercedes’ van will be based on a dedicated EV platform designed for vans, known as Van.EA, and will start production at the Jawor plant in 2025. The Van.EA platform is designed for mid- and full-size electric vans.
Rivian’s van was expected to be based on a second-generation version of the automaker’s Light Van platform. The current version underpins Rivian’s EDV delivery van built exclusively for Amazon.
The news comes just weeks after Rivian said it was delaying by a year a plan to launch a range of smaller, more affordable EVs based on a new R2 platform. The first R2-based models are currently due in 2026.