Mercedes-Benz and Rivian are partnering to produce electric vans at scale in Europe.
The joint venture announced Thursday will help each automaker scale its bespoke large battery-electric van businesses as Mercedes-Benz plans to phase out gas-engine vans by 2025.
The news sent Rivian shares up 9% in morning trading.
Together, the companies plan to build and operate a factory in Europe that produces vans for both brands. The partnership will enter production in a few years, according to Mercedes-Benz. The new EV factory will be located near one of Mercedes-Benz’s existing plants in Europe. Mercedes wouldn’t disclose the exact location, except to say it was in Central or Eastern Europe.
Mercedes-Benz, which is gearing up to launch its next-generation electric Sprinter van next year, makes four electric vans – the eVito Panel Van, the eSprinter, the eVito Tourer and the EQV – in addition to its new eCitan and the upcoming EQT.
The agreement, which is subject to regulatory clearances, will help each company leverage investments and costs. The vans will be based on Mercedes-Benz’s electric van platform, VAN.EA, and on Rivian’s second-generation Rivian Light Van (RLV) platform.
“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,” Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said in a statement.