Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and Udit are in front of a new Amazon EV van driven by Madan Rivian. Amazon and Rivian have unveiled their latest custom electric delivery vehicles (EDVs) for use in customer shipments in Chicago, Illinois, on July 21, 2022.
Jim Vondruska | Reuters
Amazon is starting to expand some of the electric delivery vans it developed with Rivian Automotive, the company announced Thursday.
In September 2019, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos was on stage at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to announce that the company had purchased 100,000 electric vehicles since its launch as part of its ambitious push for clean carbon. Emissions from all its operations by 2040.
Amazon unveiled a van version in October 2020, after which it tested vehicles in 2021 in several cities. Now, Amazon says it will use electric vehicles to make shipments to a few cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Tennessee, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and San Louis, among others.
Amazon said it expects to have “thousands” of Rivian vans by the end of this year in more than 100 cities, with the first step toward the goal of having 100,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
“Continuing innovation and action is needed to address the effects of climate change, and Amazon is partnering with companies that share a passion for inventing new ways to reduce our impact on the environment,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement. “Rivian has been a great partner in that mission, and we are excited to see our first custom electric vehicles on the road.”
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said the deployment of vehicles is a “milestone” in efforts to decarbonize last-mile delivery.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and Amazon CEO Andy Jassy visit one of the company’s electric delivery vans.
Amazon oversees a tremendous network of shipping and logistics, and handles most of its delivery operations internally. As part of this, it is increasingly relying on a large army of contracted shipping companies to transport packages to customer portals, especially those that use dark blue Amazon-branded vans that burn fossil fuels.
The expansion of Rivian has posed some challenges. Last November, Amazon delivery drivers in charge of testing the vehicles said the van battery was quickly depleted when the heating or cooling was turned on, threatening the life of the vehicles, and the battery needs an hour to charge, according to The Information. An Amazon executive told the store that the vehicles would have a range of 150 miles, more than enough for many delivery routes.
In May, Rivian filed a lawsuit against a supplier of shipping van seats ordered by Amazon, raising concerns that the vans could be delayed, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Rivian has faced many challenges to increase the production of its R1T and R1S electric vehicles. The company halved its production forecast for 2022 in March, to just 25,000 vehicles including Amazon vans, amid supply chain constraints and initial assembly line problems. He repeated that prediction earlier this month. Rivian will report the results for the second quarter on August 11th.
Amazon, which is backed by Rivian through its Climate Pledge Fund, says it continues to be committed to creating a more sustainable shipping fleet. To support electric vans, Amazon has added thousands of charging stations to its US shipping depots
Amazon has hired other automakers in addition to Rivian to electrify its fleet. In January, Amazon said it would buy thousands of Ram electric vans from Stellantis, and also ordered the vans from Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz unit to ship the packages.
– CNBC John Rosevear he helped in this story.
SEE: Rivian’s CEO is confident the company can produce 25,000 vehicles this year
Amazon Rivian has begun shipping packages with electric vans
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