Rivian builds an all-electric delivery van for Amazon
Last year, Amazon signed a deal to buy 100,000 electric trucks from automotive startup Rivian, and today the pair have offered a first real look behind the curtain. Amazon is now showing off what it calls its first custom electric delivery vehicle, which has been tailored to suit its delivery operations and is expected to hit the road in 2022.
The deal to buy 100,000 zero-emission trucks from Rivian is part of Amazon’s wider push to clean up its business operations, which includes a pledge to be completely carbon neutral by 2040.
This has seen the e-commerce giant actually work on three different models with Rivian, after investing in the company in last February. Today it shows off one of these, which it says has been customized to prioritize safety and driver experience.
That means a large windshield for visibility along with exterior cameras to provide a 360-degree digital view of the surroundings, along with sensors for highway and traffic assist functions. The truck also features a “dancefloor” space inside the cabin for easy maneuvering when loading and unloading, integrated Alexa and a couple of other safety-oriented features in a strengthened driver-side door and bright tail lights.
"The vehicle we’ve developed with Amazon is not just electric. We prioritized safety and functionality to create a vehicle that’s optimized for package delivery," said RJ Scaringe, Rivian CEO. "We thought through how drivers get in and out of the van, what the work space feels like and what the work flow is for delivering packages."
Beyond these features, Amazon hasn’t divulged any details on range, powertrain or performance of the vehicle. It does say, however, that the first batch of 10,000 electric trucks will be on the road and delivering goods around the world by 2022, and all 100,000 of them will be in action by 2030.
"We hope our custom electric vehicle helps create a sense of urgency in the industry to think big about embracing sustainable technology and solutions – whether you're a package delivery company, a logistics company, an ice cream manufacturer, or almost anyone else with vehicles on the road," said Ross Rachey, Director of Amazon's Global Fleet and Products.
You can see the promo video for Amazon’s new electric truck below.