Amazon buys 100,000 Rivian electric trucks in pursuit of carbon neutrality
Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian has landed itself a new customer, and a monumental one at that. The world’s largest retailer, Amazon, has signed on to buy 100,000 of Rivian's zero-emission trucks as part of a wider push to clean up its business operations, which includes a commitment to be completely carbon neutral by 2040.
Rivian has made quite a splash since rolling into 2018’s LA Auto Show to debut a pair of electrified vehicles, its R1T pickup and R1S SUV. These early glimpses of its engineering chops were enough to attract US$700 million of investment in February this year, with Amazon itself leading the charge.
The e-commerce giant is now doubling down on its relationship with the automotive startup, today announcing an order of no less than 100,000 Rivian electric delivery trucks. This, according to Amazon, is the largest order of electric vehicles in history.
And considering that is around how many total vehicles Tesla was able to deliver in an entire record-setting quarter after a tumultuous time getting its manufacturing processes up to speed, that will be no small undertaking for an electric vehicle maker, much less one that is just getting started.
In any case, having Amazon onside certainly won’t do these efforts any harm. The retailer expects these electric vans to begin delivering packages for customers as early as 2021, and to have all 100,000 of them on the road by 2030.
This forms part of a new environmental initiative launched by CEO Jeff Bezos today called The Climate Pledge, which commits the company to being completely carbon neutral by 2040, implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement and measure and report its greenhouse gas emissions along the way. It hopes other companies will sign on to become a part of the pledge.
“We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue – we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” says Bezos. “If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon – which delivers more than 10 billion items a year – can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can.”