Is this an Electric Ford F-150 Prototype, or Rivian Electric Test Mule, or Both? (Report)

Will Rivian be licensing their electric chassis to Ford?

Is this an Electric Ford F-150 or Rivian or both?

We recently received two separate anonymous reports that Rivian is using a Ford F-150 body to test its new all-electric “skateboard” chassis. Could this mildly camouflaged prototype you see here be one of those Rivian trucks underneath? Let’s dig a little deeper.

Back in March 2019, we received the images you see here and a quick video clip of this Ford F-150 prototype truck with independent rear suspension that was driving around Dearborn, MI without any evident combustion engine sound.

Here is the video that shows the F-150 prototype.

At this point, neither Ford nor Rivian have made any official comments on this matter. This article is purely based on two anonymous account from people with insider knowledge.

Rivian did officially announce that it will be looking to license its “skateboard” chassis to other manufacturers. Ford announced its intent to produce an electric truck in the future. Also, Ford recently invested $500 million into Rivian.

Indeed the Rivian R1T prototype truck has dimensions that are similar to a current production F-150, especially the width.

The Rivian R1T:

  • Width (overall): 79.3 in
  • Length (overall): 215.5 in
  • Track width: 67.3 in
  • Wheelbase: 135.8 in

Ford F-150 crew cab short bed:

  • Width (overall): 79.9 in (no side mirrors)
  • Length (overall): 231.9 in
  • Track width: 67.6 in
  • Wheelbase: 145 in

The F-150 wheelbase is about 9.2 inches longer than on the Rivian R1T truck. This alone is a strong case against this F-150 prototype being a Rivian test truck. Although, the Rivian wheelbase can change. The Rivian R1S wheelbase is 121 inches long (about 14.8 inches shorter than the R1T).

R1T chassis (photo: Rivian)

We also know that Rivian is using an independent suspension at all four corners. The test F-150 prototype is showing an independent rear suspension.

The Rivian chassis is equipped with four electric motors, one for each wheel. We recently learned that each electric motor can truly be controlled individually for side to side torque vectoring or to possibly reverse the torque of one wheel, while the other is still powering forward.

(photo: Rivian)

In any case, the prospects of a Rivian R1T continuing its testing and Ford being interested in electrification of its trucks are good for consumers everywhere.

Rivian is still targeting delivering the first customer R1T truck to a customer by the end of 2020.