2. Amazon: Our electric van is really happening
Amazon is sharing new info about its late 2019 vow to buy 100,000 (!) electric delivery vehicles from Rivian.
Driving the news: Amazon released a video yesterday showing its close collaboration with the Michigan-based startup on designing the vehicles; new photos of the design (see above); and other details in this blog post.
- One revelation: "[T]hey'll come in three size variants and support multiple battery sizes so they can be optimized for specific delivery routes."
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 EV startups.
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."
Quick take: 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.
Quick take II: 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.