Lincoln Electric SUV Canceled Amid Coronavirus Crisis
Just three months after announcing the co-development of its first-ever electric vehicle, Lincoln’s plans for a Rivian-based EV have been scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic. While product development and production plans for all car companies have experienced delays globally, this is the first instance of a U.S.-based model being called off completely.
The cancelation only speaks to the current development project, an electric Lincoln SUV, and does not reflect an end to the automakers’ partnership as a whole. “Our strategic commitment to Lincoln, Rivian, and electrification remains unchanged,” Lincoln said in a statement sent to Automotive News. Adding that “Lincoln’s future plans will include an all-electric vehicle consistent with its Quiet Flight DNA.”
Ford Motor Company made headlines last April with a $500-million equity investment in nascent EV company Rivian with additional development plans for a next-generation Ford EV. To be based on Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform, the now-canceled Lincoln electric SUV would have joined a lineup that currently includes plug-in hybrid versions of the Aviator and Corsair.
Lincoln had been riding a wave of momentum, introducing four new models in three years. This reimagined lineup led to a 7% year-over-year sales growth in 2019.
Rivian’s lineup focuses on performance off-road-capable trucks and SUVs. Its first models, the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, were unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show in 2018. Specs for both vehicles list zero-to-60 mph times of 3 seconds and a driving range of more than 400 miles. Starting at $69,000 (before federal tax credits), the two Rivian models will be available for pre-order later this year.
Ford also continues its EV development, having announced an $11-billlion investment into vehicle electrification. Two new models have been confirmed for production: an electric version of the F-150 pickup and the Mustang-inspired Mach-E crossover.