Amazon begins deliveries of Rivian electric vans

US customers will see Amazon deliver their packages using its custom electric delivery vehicles from startup Rivian

Amazon will reap the benefits of its investment in Rivian and will use its custom electric vans for deliveries in the United States.

Amazon announced the development of CO2 reduction, saying that by the end of the year “thousands” of Amazon-branded electric Rivian vans will be delivered to more than 100 cities.

The plan is to have 100,000 electric vans in use by the end of 2030.

Amazon Custom Electric Van – Rivian

Amazon/Rivian

Amazon said the electric vehicles will hit the road in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and St. Louis, among others, before expanding across the US.

The development is good news for Rivian, who has been struggling with manufacturing and supply chain issues for some time now.

In January of this year, there was potentially bad news for the US EV startup after Amazon signed a partnership agreement with auto concern Stellantis.

On the surface, that deal was a collaboration to develop cars and trucks with Amazon software integrated into vehicle infotainment systems and dashboards.

But the deal also meant that Amazon will be the first commercial customer of Stellantis’ Ram ProMaster EV, scheduled for 2023, which will run alongside the Rivian vans.

Then, earlier this month, Rivian said it would inform its staff of restructuring and potential layoffs as it planned to suspend some programs as part of a broader restructuring.

But Amazon has been a long-time investor in Rivian, and it said its custom electric vans “have been designed from the ground up with safety, durability and comfort in mind, and have been rigorously tested by drivers across the country.”

Net-zero carbon

Amazon said the move as part of its The Climate Pledge in 2019 included a commitment to be carbon neutral in its operations by 2040.

As part of the Pledge, Amazon said it is creating a more sustainable delivery fleet, and its work with Rivian is an important part of decarbonizing its last mile logistics and accelerating innovation that can help others achieve net-zero carbon. reach.

With its commitment to have all 100,000 electric vans on the road by 2030, Amazon said this will save millions of tons of carbon per year.

“Combating the effects of climate change requires constant innovation and action, and Amazon is partnering with companies that share our passion for inventing new ways to minimize our impact on the environment,” said Andy Jassy, ​​Amazon CEO.

RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian and Andy Jassy, ​​CEO of Amazon

“Rivian has been an excellent partner in that mission and we are excited to see our first custom electric vans on the road,” said Jassy. “Today marks an important milestone in our Climate Pledge commitment. Rivian was one of the first companies Amazon invested in through the Climate Pledge Fund, and we’re just beginning our journey to have 100,000 of Rivian’s vehicles on the road by 2030.”

“And these new vehicles are not only durable, they are great for drivers too – they are designed with driver input and feedback and they are among the safest and most comfortable vans on the road today,” he concluded. .

“Today is an important step not only for Amazon and Rivian as partners, but also for transportation and the environment,” added RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian.

RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian and Andy Jassy, ​​CEO of Amazon

“In 2019, Rivian and Amazon committed to accelerating a new type of delivery vehicle that would result in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions,” said Scaringe. “Thanks to the dedication, hard work and collaboration of our teams and a shared commitment to making the world a better place for our children’s children, that vision is now being realized.”

“To say this is an exciting moment is an understatement – ​​we are delighted to see that this partnership has kick-started decarbonisation projects in the logistics sector,” concluded Scaringe.

From features

Amazon has apparently been testing deliveries of Rivian pre-production vehicles since 2021, delivering more than 430,000 packages and racking up more than 90,000 miles.

Amazon Custom Electric Van – Rivian

These important tests allowed Rivian to continuously improve the vehicle’s performance, safety and durability in different climates and regions, as well as state-of-the-art features to ensure driver satisfaction and overall functionality.

Amazon Custom Electric Van Cockpit

Rivian has also earned certifications from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, California Air Resources Board, and US Environmental Protection Agency.

The custom vehicles are made at the Rivian facility in Illinois and include technology and features such as:

A safety-first design, focused on superior 360-degree visibility and vehicle features that protect drivers and pedestrians. A range of innovative safety features including sensor detection, highway and traffic assistance technology, a large windshield to improve driver visibility, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and collision warnings. Integrated technology that fully integrates the delivery workflow with the vehicle, enabling seamless access to routing, navigation, driver support and more. Features to enhance the driver experience and create convenience on the road, such as automatic door locking/unlocking when the driver approaches or leaves the vehicle, and an electrically operated bulkhead door that opens when drivers reach their delivery location. A reinforced driver’s door for extra protection and an ergonomically designed driver’s cab and cargo area for safe and easy movement in the van. Batteries that are light, resilient and inexpensive, while also lasting the life of the vehicle.

Test times

However CNBC reported: that there have been some challenges in developing Amazon’s custom van.

Last November, Amazon delivery drivers tasked with testing the vehicles reportedly claimed the vans’ battery drained quickly when heating or cooling was on, threatening the vehicle’s range, and claimed it takes an hour to to charge the battery.

An Amazon executive reportedly said the vehicles would have a range of 150 miles, more than enough for many delivery routes.

And in May, Rivian reportedly filed a lawsuit against a supplier of delivery van seats ordered by Amazon, raising concerns it could slow down delivery vans.

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