Mercedes-Benz, Rivian partners for commercial EV trucks in Europe

Production of Amazon’s electric delivery vans on April 11, 2022 at Rivian’s plant in Normal, Ill.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

Mercedes-Benz and Rivian said on Thursday it is planning a joint venture to build large, electric commercial trucks for both brands.

The companies plan to build two different EV trucks — one for each — on a common assembly line, the companies said. The idea is to reduce costs for both companies by sharing investments, technology and suppliers.

It plans to build a new electric-only production facility at Mercedes-Benz’s existing plant site in Central or Eastern Europe, with production to begin in “a few years”, two companies. company said in a statement.

Mathias Geisen, head of commercial vans at Mercedes, said: “Mercedes ‑ Benz Vans has had extensive experience in the production and launch of eVans since 2010. We are now accelerating the transformation. to the category of all-electric products. “We are sharing investments and technology [with Rivian] because we share the same strategic ambition: to accelerate the electrification of the van market with superior and sustainable products for our customers. “

While Mercedes-Benz has been making commercial vehicles for years and electric trucks for more than a decade, Rivian is a newcomer in the segment. Michigan-based EV startup start building EV delivery trucks Because Amazon early this year, just a few months after it started manufacturing its own high-end electric pickup truck and SUVs at the plant in Illinois.

While the trucks that Mercedes and Rivian produce will likely end up being similar, they will have different designs: Mercedes’ will be based on its upcoming new EV van architecture, which is expected launched in 2025; Rivian on the next-generation version of the light truck platform it developed for Amazon.

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