Mercedes-Benz and Rivian have announced plans to collaborate on an electric van factory. The factory will be located in Europe at an existing Mercedes facility and it will build next-generation vans from both automakers. The two companies are only planning on teaming up for this factory at the moment, but it’s possible the two will work together on more projects in the future, assuming everything goes well.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Mercedes‑Benz on this project,” said R.J. Scaringe, CEO of Rivian. “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.”
The companies expect to build at least two vans at the plant, one based on VAN.EA, Mercedes’ all-electric van architecture, and the other is based on the Rivian Light Van platform, a second-generation version of the startup’s electric delivery vehicle.
This isn’t Rivian’s first partnership, which once had an agreement to build vehicles together with Ford. However, that deal ended in late 2021. Rivian also has a tie-up with Amazon, building an all-electric delivery van for the online shopping behemoth.
Established carmakers have been joining forces with battery makers as they try to compete with companies like Tesla and Rivian that make nothing but electric vehicles. Cooperation between an electric vehicle upstart and a traditional carmaker like Mercedes, which traces its origins to the 19th century, is unusual.