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Rivian raises $2.65B as it pushes towards production of its electric pickup

Rivian has raised $2.65 billion as it prepares to begin production this summer of its all-electric pickup truck.
The round, which was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., also included Fidelity Management and Research Company, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Coatue and D1 Capital Partners as well as several other existing and new investors.
Rivian is now valued at $27.6 billion, according to a person familiar with the investment round.
The capital comes at a critical time for Rivian, which is undertaking the design, development, production and delivery of two consumer vehicles — the R1T pickup …

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I’m obsessed with the Ford Mustang Mach-E physical touchscreen volume knob

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E features a giant touchscreen, and at the bottom is a sizable knob for volume control. I love it. There, stuck on a touchscreen, is a physical knob. Twist it! Spin it! There’s even a resounding click as it twists. The knob works so much better than a touchscreen slider bar, and I implore other automakers to follow Ford’s lead. This knob is a surprisingly simple solution.
Under the knob are tiny strips that interact with the touchscreen as if it was touched by a finger. When the knob is twisted, these strips drag across …

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The EPA says the Ford Mustang Mach-E’s electric range is a lackluster 211-300 miles

The EPA just released its findings on the Mustang Mach-E, and it’s a mixture of good news and bad news. Depending on the model, the EPA says the Mach-E is good for just 211 miles to 300 miles on a charge. On the one hand, the Mach-E matched Ford’s range target, with the EPA agreeing with Ford’s range. On the other hand, the range is well under that found in competing vehicles, which puts the Mach-E on its backfoot as it enters the competitive electric vehicle market. Ford dropped the price of the Mach-E in September.

The Mach-E will come in two powertrain variants: standard-range and extended-range, with both options available in a dual-motor, AWD setup. The extended-range option nets buyers an additional 60-70 miles of range, with this option delivering 270 miles for the AWD version and 300 for the RWD version. The standard range Mach-E comes in at 211 miles for AWD and 230 miles for RWD.

Those figures are nearly identical to what Ford targeted with the Mach-E, signaling the automaker’s improving engineering quality.

With a max range of 400 miles on a two-wheel-drive model, the Mach-E range falls well short of the Tesla Model 3 or Polestar 2, available in 400 mile-range variants for similar prices as the Mustang Mach-E.

The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first major electric vehicle. Customers will start taking delivery of pre-orders this December. The vehicle is launching in a space that’s increasingly becoming more competitive. Along with Tesla, the Mustang Mach-E must sell against the fantastic Polestar 2, Audi’s growing line of electric vehicles, and Kia/Hyundai’s affordable electric crossovers. Some have longer range, and others are less expensive than Ford’s first EV.

The Mustang Mach-E is just the start of Ford’s electric offering, and the automaker likely understood the range would fall short of the market leaders. The goal is seemingly to kick off Ford’s EV stable with an exciting, affordable vehicle, and the Mach-E seems to fit that role despite the short range.

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Ford will reveal its all-electric Transit van in November

Ford plans to reveal in November an all-electric version of its Ford Transit cargo van, the company said Wednesday as part of its broader third-quarter earnings report. The unveiling will showcase an electric van for all of the company’s global addressable markets.

The company has been talking about producing an electric Transit van for more than a year now. Ford announced in April 2019 plans to sell an all-electric Transit for the European market by 2021. Then this spring, Ford said it would also produce and sell an all-electric version of the cargo van for the North American market starting with the 2022 model year.

The electric Transit cargo van is part of Ford’s more than $11.5 billion investment in electrification through 2022, and more specifically, a strategy to go after commercial customers.

The decision to include commercial vans in its EV strategy is linked to sales in North America and the company’s outlook on future growth. The Transit van and the Ford F-150 are the two most important, highest volume commercial vehicles in our industry, CEO Jim Farley said during an earnings call Wednesday with analysts.

“We own ‘work’ at Ford and these electric vehicles will be true work vehicles, extremely capable and with unique digital services and over-the-air capabilities to improve the productivity and uptime of our important commercial customers,” he said. “We believe the addressable market for a fully electric commercial van and pickup — the two largest addressable profit pools and commercial — are going to be massive and we’re going straight at this opportunity.”

The announcement was tucked inside the company’s third-quarter earnings, which crushed Wall Street expectations. Ford reported Wednesday net income of $2.4 billion on $37.5 billion in revenue. Ford said it expects a positive full year 2020 adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, reversing a dimmer outlook it had previously provided.

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