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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

Go deeper

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.