Amazon reveals first of Rivian electric delivery vans

Amazon is pursuing a multi-track strategy to electrify its delivery fleet. The company already operates hundreds of EVs worldwide, including e-cargo bikes in New York City and Europe. It plans to add 1,800 electric delivery vehicles to its European fleet this year, and 10,000 in India by 2025. The retail/delivery/IT conglomerate has ordered electric vans from Mercedes-Benz and trucks from Lion Electric.

However, the news that really turned up the voltage was last September’s announcement that Amazon would order 100,000 electric delivery vans from Michigan-based startup Rivian. These are not off-the-shelf vehicles—the two companies have been working closely together to develop a custom van that’s optimized for Amazon’s delivery operations.

Now Amazon has given us a brief peak at the new vehicle in a short video.

The van, built on Rivian’s “skateboard” platform, is expected to have a range of 150 miles. Innovations include a large windshield to enhance driver visibility, a full suite of sensors, exterior cameras that give the driver a 360-degree view outside the vehicle, and a menu of driver-assist features.

“When we set out to create our first customized electric delivery vehicle with Rivian, we knew that it needed to far surpass any other delivery vehicle,” said Ross Rachey, Director of Amazon’s Global Fleet and Products. “We wanted drivers to love using it and customers to feel excited when they saw it pulling up to their home. We combined Rivian’s technology with our delivery logistics knowledge, and the result is what you see here—the future of last-mile delivery.”

“We prioritized safety and functionality to create a vehicle that’s optimized for package delivery,” said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe. “We thought through how drivers get in and out of the van, what the workspace feels like, and what the workflow is for delivering packages.”

This is one of three different models that Amazon has developed with Rivian. The company hopes to have 10,000 of the custom EVs on the road in 2022, and all 100,000 by 2030.

“We hope our custom electric vehicle helps create a sense of urgency in the industry to think big about embracing sustainable technology and solutions—whether you’re a package delivery company, a logistics company, an ice cream manufacturer, or almost anyone else with vehicles on the road,” said Rachey.

Sources: Amazon, Green Car Reports, Car and Driver