E-commerce firm Amazon and electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian have started to roll out their electric delivery vehicles across the US, with plans to bring “thousands” to more than 100 cities by the end of 2022.
The electric delivery vans, which Amazon says have been designed from the ground up with “safety, sustainability and comfort in mind”, are built in Illinois and reportedly have a range of between 120 and 150 miles.
The vehicles will be first deployed in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and St Louis, among other cities. The two firms hope to produce 100,000 of these vehicles by 2030.
Amazon says they will help to decarbonise last-mile logistics and continue the shift to reach net-zero carbon across the US, saving “millions of metric tonnes of carbon per year”.
Rivian and Amazon have been collaborating on delivery vehicles since 2019. Amazon has been using pre-production vehicles built by Rivian since last year and has delivered more than 430,000 packages and travelled over 90,000 miles in them. The long testing period was used to fine-tune vehicle performance, durability and safety in several climates.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said: “Fighting the effects of climate change requires constant innovation and action, and Amazon is partnering with companies who share our passion for inventing new ways to minimise our impact on the environment.
“Rivian has been an excellent partner in that mission, and we’re excited to see our first custom electric delivery vehicles on the road.”
The tall, narrow delivery vans are equipped with lightweight batteries that, Amazon says, will last the vehicle’s entire lifetime.
Each features 360deg visibility and other equipment such as highway and traffic assistance, automatic emergency braking, collision warnings and adaptive cruise control.
The vehicle’s doors also have automatic locking when the driver leaves the vehicle, a power-assisted bulkhead door and a cabin designed with modern ergonomics.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said the delivery vehicles represented an important step for both the environment and transportation.
“In 2019, Rivian and Amazon committed to fast-tracking a new type of delivery vehicle that would result in a significant reduction of carbon emissions," Scaringe said. "Thanks to our teams’ dedication, hard work and collaboration, and a shared commitment to make the world a better place for our kids’ kids, that vision is now being realised.
“To say this is an exciting moment is an understatement: we’re thrilled to see this partnership has kick-started decarbonisation projects across the logistics delivery industry."