Volkswagen and Rivian team up for multi-billion EV software venture.

Volkswagen Group and Rivian, the struggling EV maker, have announced an exciting joint venture focused on the development of cutting-edge EV software and platforms for future vehicles.

The joint venture aims to create state-of-the-art software-defined vehicle platforms that will be utilised in both companies’ upcoming electric vehicles.

This equally owned and controlled partnership will leverage Rivian’s expertise in software and electrical architecture to establish a top-tier software-defined vehicle (SDV) technology platform. Rivian’s existing zonal hardware design and integrated technology platform will serve as the basis for future SDV innovations within the joint venture, set to be integrated into vehicles from both companies. Rivian will contribute its knowledge in electrical architecture and is expected to license its intellectual property rights to the partnership.

By collaborating, Volkswagen Group and Rivian aim to launch vehicles incorporating this advanced technology in the latter half of the decade. In the near term, the joint venture will enable Volkswagen Group to leverage Rivian’s electrical architecture and software platform. The ultimate goal of the partnership is to expedite Volkswagen Group’s SDV aspirations and make the transition to a pure zonal architecture.

While both companies will independently manage their vehicle businesses, Volkswagen Group has committed to investing an initial $1bn (£790m) in Rivian, with the potential for up to $4bn (£3.2bn) in additional investment.

Volkswagen Group’s CEO, Oliver Blume, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “Through our cooperation, we will deliver the best solutions for our vehicles faster and more cost-effectively. This partnership aligns with our robust brands’ commitment to producing innovative products. It seamlessly integrates with our existing software strategy, products, and partnerships, enhancing our technology portfolio and competitiveness.”

RJ Scaringe, Rivian’s founder and CEO, also shared his excitement, remarking, “From the inception of Rivian, we have been dedicated to developing cutting-edge technology, and it’s thrilling that one of the world’s largest and most reputable automotive companies has acknowledged this.

“This partnership not only expands the reach of our software and zonal architecture through Volkswagen Group’s global presence but also secures necessary capital for our substantial growth. Rivian was founded to facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels through innovative products and services, making this collaboration perfectly aligned with our mission.”

Recent collaborative efforts have shown compatibility between Rivian’s electrical architecture and software with Volkswagen Group’s vehicles. The joint venture is anticipated to commence operations in the fourth quarter of 2024, setting the stage for exciting advancements in the EV industry.

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