Mercedes Benz Vans, a full-range provider of electric private and commercial vans, and Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer, has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to begin a strategic partnership. The collaboration will allow the companies to collaborate on the production of electric vans.
The companies intend to establish a new joint venture manufacturing company with the goal of investing in and operating a factory in Europe to produce large electric vans for both Mercedes-Benz Vans and Rivian in a few years, subject to the parties entering into final binding agreements and obtaining the necessary regulatory clearances. The goal is to build an entirely new electric-only production facility in Central/Eastern Europe, leveraging an existing Mercedes-Benz site.
The companies envision vehicle designs that are optimized for production on common assembly lines. They intend to build two large vans, one based on VAN.EA (MB Vans Electric Architecture), Mercedes-Benz Vans’ electric-only platform, and the other on Rivian Light Van (RLV), the second generation electric-van platform. Additional options for increased joint venture synergies will be investigated.
The joint venture reflects Mercedes-Benz Vans and Rivian’s shared goals: both companies intend to rapidly scale up production of electric vans to aid the world’s transition to cleaner transportation. They will be able to leverage operational synergies and significantly increase cost efficiency by working together to help make the vans more affordable for commercial customers driven by total cost of ownership.
During the signing ceremony, R.J. Scaringe, Chief Executive Officer of Rivian, said that “Rivian was created to encourage the world to transition away from fossil fuel consumption by creating compelling products and services.” 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 that will not only benefit our customers but the planet.”
In his remark, Mathias Geisen, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, stated that “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. Now we are accelerating the transformation to a fully electric product portfolio. From 2025 onwards, all vans are 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 – a highly dynamic and inspiring partner with a strong technology position. 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.”
Mercedes-Benz Vans’ strategy is firmly anchored in its leadership aspiration for electric mobility. Mercedes-Benz Vans was a pioneer in the field of locally emission-free transporters with the Vito E-CELL in 2010. Customers can now choose between four battery-powered vans: the eVito Panel Van, the eSprinter, the eVito Tourer, and the EQV. The new eCitan and the upcoming EQT will soon complete the van portfolio’s electrification. In 2023, the next-generation eSprinter will be released.
Mercedes-Benz Vans implements the next stage of its electrification strategy with VAN.EA beginning in the middle of the decade (MB Vans Electric Architecture). All mid-size and large vans based on the new modular architecture will be electric-only beginning in 2025.