Amazon rolls out Rivian electric delivery vehicles

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Amazon has begun rolling out its custom electric delivery vehicles, designed by electric vehicle automotive company Rivian, in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, San Diego, St. Louis and Seattle.

The custom vehicles feature 360° visibility, sensor detection, highway and traffic assist technology, a large windshield to enhance driver visibility, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and collision warnings. Its embedded technology has been designed to integrate the delivery workflow with the vehicle, enabling access to routing, navigation and driver support. The vehicle can automatically lock/unlock its doors as its driver approaches or leaves the vehicle, and a powered bulkhead door opens when drivers reach their delivery locations. The strengthened door on the driver’s side gives additional protection, and an ergonomically designed driver’s cabin and cargo area enable safe and easy movement inside the van. The car’s batteries are intended to be light, resilient and inexpensive in addition to increasing the lifetime of the vehicle.

Alongside the vehicle rollout, Amazon has added charging stations at its delivery stations across the country and will continue to invest in building an infrastructure to support a more sustainable delivery fleet. The company has also partnered with the nonprofit CERES and several other fleet operators to launch the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, bringing together companies to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.

This rollout is part of the company’s plan to deliver thousands of Amazon’s custom electric delivery vehicles in more than 100 cities by the end of this year – and 100,000 across the US by 2030. The vehicles are the product of Amazon’s partnership with Rivian, which the companies announced in 2019 when Amazon committed to reaching net-zero carbon across its operations by 2040. Amazon has been testing deliveries with Rivian preproduction vehicles since 2021, delivering over 430,000 packages and accumulating over 144,000km. This testing has enabled Rivian to improve the vehicle’s performance, safety and durability in various climates and geographies. With its commitment to have all 100,000 electric delivery vehicles on the road by 2030, Amazon intends to save millions of metric tons of carbon per year through these custom vehicles.

Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon, 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 minimize 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. Today marks a significant 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 getting started on our journey to have 100,000 of Rivian’s vehicles on the road by 2030. And, in addition to being sustainable, these new vehicles are also great for drivers – they were designed with driver input and feedback along the way, and they’re among the safest and most comfortable delivery vehicles on the road today.”

Robert Joseph (‘RJ’) Scaringe, CEO of Rivian, said, “This represents an important step, not just for Amazon and Rivian as partners, but also for transportation and the environment. In 2019, Rivian and Amazon committed to fast-tracking a new type of delivery vehicle that would result in a significant reduction in carbon emissions. 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 realized. To say this is an exciting moment is an understatement – we’re thrilled to see that this partnership has kickstarted decarbonization projects across the logistics delivery industry.”

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