Feb 5, 2020 - Economy & Business

Amazon grants first look at Rivian's electric delivery vehicles

Model of Rivian's electric delivery van for Amazon

Model of Rivian's electric delivery van for Amazon. Photo courtesy of Amazon

Amazon is sharing new info about its late 2019 vow to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian.

Why it matters: It's among the most aggressive moves in the fleet electrification space and, if indeed it proceeds, will cement Rivian's prominence among electric vehicle startups.

Driving the news: Amazon released a video yesterday showing its close collaboration with the Michigan-based startup on designing the vehicles, as well as new photos of the design.

  • One revelation: "[T]hey'll come in three size variants and support multiple battery sizes so they can be optimized for specific delivery routes."

What's next: Amazon says package deliveries with the vehicles will begin in 2021. They hope to have 10,000 operating as soon as 2022, and all 100,000 by 2030.

  • The post says the vehicles will have display screens that are "integrated with Amazon's logistics management, along with routing and package delivery technology systems to make it easier for the drivers to focus on operating the vehicle."

The bottom line: Long-term corporate pledges are common these days (and Amazon itself has vowed to reach net-zero emissions in 2040), but yesterday's release appears designed to show there's actual stuff happening now.

  • And, per Axios' Joann Muller, the video showing the advanced planning and design work could begin to quell skepticism that greeted Amazon's pledge to buy 100,000 vehicles from a company that hasn't produced a single EV yet.

Go deeper: Hundreds at Amazon call for company to toughen climate policies

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