Again in September, Rivian and Mercedes-Benz signed a “memorandum of understanding to provoke a strategic partnership” on industrial battery-electric vans. The 2 firms meant to construct autos collectively beneath one roof in central or eastern Europe, although they wouldn’t construct the identical vans. Every was to make use of its personal platform, which made the potential advantages of the synergy a bit of unclear, no less than to these of us on the skin.
The automakers could have felt the identical method, as Rivian introduced Monday it should now not pursue the three way partnership with Mercedes, simply 12 weeks after it was publicized. Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe provided the next in a press launch in regards to the information:
“We’ve determined to pause discussions with Mercedes-Benz Vans relating to the Memorandum of Understanding we signed earlier this yr for joint manufacturing of electrical vans in Europe. As we consider progress alternatives, we pursue the perfect risk-adjusted returns on our capital investments. At this time limit, we imagine specializing in our client enterprise, in addition to our current industrial enterprise, signify essentially the most enticing near-term alternatives to maximise worth for Rivian. We share the identical objective as Mercedes-Benz Vans, to assist the world transition to electrical autos, and we look ahead to exploring alternatives with them at a extra applicable time for Rivian.”
The final sentence couches this as extra of a delay than a tough break, although in fact the “memorandum of understanding” was by no means binding to start with, so Rivian may simply be ducking out of this one quietly. Mercedes-Benz Vans chief Mathias Geisen mentioned in the identical launch that he “respects and understands the choice of Rivian to prioritize the supply of their client enterprise and current industrial enterprise,” so it seems there’s no exhausting emotions.
It’s comprehensible too, as Rivian is dropping as much as six figures on each single R1T or R1S that leaves its meeting line. One other story from Reuters that broke in November positioned the common price of products in each car at $220,000 — regardless of a median sale value of $81,000.
As for Mercedes, Geisen says this doesn’t have an effect on Stuttgart’s plans for the event of its personal electrical workhorse. The second-generation eSprinter shall be unveiled in about two months, however the firm says it achieved nearly 300 miles of vary in testing with the most important battery outfitted, carrying about 220 kilos of cargo.
That’s spectacular longevity — although it may very nicely carry a powerful value if the battery sizes up across the 110 or 120 kWh mark, because it’s been rumored to. The outgoing eSprinter with the 55 kWh pack goes for the equal of virtually $43,000 within the U.Okay. and grants a bit of greater than 90 miles on a cost.