Ford cancels Rivian EV project due to “current environment”—development of new gas models continues

We’re learning more about the coronavirus every day. Now it seems that it infects EVs, but not ICE vehicles. Ford and Rivian have canceled their plans to jointly develop an EV for the Lincoln brand, citing the “current environment” around the ongoing coronavirus crisis as the reason.

Although development of some of Ford’s new gas-powered models has been delayed due to the health crisis, it doesn’t appear that any will be cancelled. Production of the new Bronco Sport crossover has been pushed back to September, about 60 days later than the original target, according to Automotive News.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett recently said that the virus was not likely to have any major impact on Ford’s development of new ICE vehicles. “It’s had an effect, but it’s not going to dampen our spirits about how all these great new things have to come to market,” Hackett said. “If they’re a month or six weeks late, I don’t think anyone would think we fumbled there because of the virus.”

Ford invested $500 million in Rivian last year. In January, the company announced a partnership with startup Rivian to develop a new EV based on Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform. This was to be Lincoln’s first battery-electric model.

Lincoln says it still hopes to have its own EV eventually, and could co-develop a model with Rivian in the future. “Our strategic commitment to Lincoln, Rivian and electrification remains unchanged and Lincoln’s future plans will include an all-electric vehicle consistent with its Quiet Flight DNA,” a Lincoln spokesperson told Automotive News.

Source: Automotive News via Crain’s Detroit Business