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Rivian, Mercedes-Benz announce partnership to produce electric vans

·1 min read

Rivian and Mercedes-Benz Vans on Thursday announced plans to launch a partnership to manufacture large electric vans for both automakers.

The companies, which signed a memorandum of understanding, plan to form a joint venture to operate a factory to manufacture electric van models, according to a press release from Rivian.

The deal is subject to Mercedes-Benz and the electric vehicle startup entering a final binding agreement and getting regulatory clearances, the companies said.

They hope to utilize one of Mercedes-Benz's existing sites in Central or Eastern Europe for a new all-electric vehicle manufacturing factory, according to the release.

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"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," Mercedes-Benz Vans chief Mathias Geisen said in a statement.

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In the new plant, Rivian and Mercedes-Benz plan to make two types of large vans on the same assembly lines. One van model will be based on Rivian's second-generation light electric van design. The other will be based on Mercedes-Benz Vans' new VAN.EA design, according to the release. Production is expected to begin in a few years.

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"Mercedes-Benz is one of the world’s best-known and respected automotive companies, and we believe that together we will produce truly remarkable electric vans, which will not only benefit our customers, but the planet," Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement.