Rivian and Mercedes-Benz partner on electric cargo vans

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by Emily Atkins

Mercedes-Benz Vans and electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian are planning to work together on electric van production.

The two companies intend to establish a new joint venture manufacturing company that will build and operate a factory in Europe to produce large electric vans for both Mercedes-Benz Vans and Rivian, starting in a few years. The target is to build an all-new electric-only production facility on an existing Mercedes-Benz site in Central/Eastern Europe.

The e-Sprinter is one of the electric vans Mercedes-Benz produces now.

They will aim to produce two large vans, one based on VAN.EA (MB Vans Electric Architecture), the electric-only platform of Mercedes-Benz Vans, and the other based on the second generation electric-van, Rivian Light Van (RLV) platform.

Both companies already had plans to rapidly scale the production of electric vans. By working together, they say they will be able to create economies of scale in production to help make the vans more affordable for commercial customers.

Mercedes-Benz Vans produces four battery-electric driven vans: the eVito Panel Van, the eSprinter, the eVito Tourer and the EQV. With the new eCitan and the upcoming EQT the van portfolio will soon be completely electrified. The next generation eSprinter will be launched in 2023. From the middle of the decade, Mercedes-Benz Vans implements the next stage in its electrification strategy with VAN.EA (MB Vans Electric Architecture).

“As a pioneer in the field of locally emission-free transportation Mercedes-Benz Vans has gained broad experience in producing and launching eVans since 2010,” said Mathias Geisen, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

“From 2025 onwards, all vans based on our new architecture VAN.EA will be electric-only. I am delighted that as part of this transformation we are now joining forces with Rivian. 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.”

Rivian’s R1T, R1S, and Electric Delivery Van (EDV) last-mile delivery vans are its first vehicles in the consumer and commercial space. Rivian launched the EDV, which was designed and engineered by Rivian in collaboration with Amazon, as an anchor product to combat climate change at scale in the fleet market.

“Rivian was created to encourage the world to transition away from fossil fuel consumption by creating compelling products and services,” said RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Mercedes-Benz on this project. 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.”