On Thursday, Amazon said it would start using electric vans developed in collaboration with Rivian to deliver goods.
Amazon is starting to roll out some electric delivery vans co-developed with Rivian Automotive, the companies announced Thursday.
In September 2019, Amazon founder and then-CEO Jeff Bezos stood on stage at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to announce that the company had purchased 100,000 electric vehicles from the startup as part of its ambitious goal of achieving zero carbon emissions. emissions from all enterprises by 2040.
Amazon introduced the van version in October 2020 and then tested the vehicles in a number of cities throughout 2021. Now Amazon says it will use electric vehicles for delivery to several cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Tennessee, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and St. Louis, among others.
Amazon said it expects to have “thousands” of Rivian vans in more than 100 cities by the end of this year, the first step towards its goal of having 100,000 electric delivery vehicles on U.S. roads by 2030.
“Combating the effects of climate change requires constant innovation and action, and Amazon is partnering with companies that share our passion for inventing new ways to minimize our environmental footprint,” said Amazon CEO Andy Jassi. “Rivian has been a great partner on this mission and we are excited to see our first custom electric delivery vehicles on the road.”
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said the vehicle’s rollout is a “milestone” in efforts to decarbonize last-mile delivery.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and Amazon CEO Andy Jassi inspect one of the company’s electric vans.
Amazon oversees a giant delivery and logistics network, and most of its shipping operations are done in-house. As part of that, he’s increasingly relying on a sprawling army of contract companies to deliver packages to customers’ doorsteps, mostly using dark blue Amazon-branded fossil-fuel vans.
Rivian’s deployment ran into some issues. Last November, Amazon delivery drivers tasked with testing vehicles said the vans’ battery drained quickly when heating or cooling was on, threatening the vehicle’s range, and claimed it took an hour to charge the battery. Information. An Amazon spokesperson told the publication that the vehicles will have a range of 150 miles, more than enough for many shipping routes.
In May, Rivian filed a lawsuit against a supplier of seats for delivery vans ordered by Amazon, raising concerns that it could delay the vans. Wall Street Magazine reported.
Rivian has faced a number of challenges in scaling up production of its R1T and R1S electric vehicles. In March, the company halved its 2022 production forecast to just 25,000 vehicles, including Amazon vans, amid supply chain restrictions and early problems with the assembly line. He confirmed that prediction earlier this month. Rivian will publish its second quarter results on August 11th.
Amazon, which backed Rivian through its Climate Pledge Fund, says it remains committed to building a more sustainable delivery fleet. To support the electric vans, Amazon has added thousands of charging stations to its US delivery warehouses.
Amazon has brought in automakers other than Rivian to electrify its fleet. In January, Amazon said it would buy thousands of electric Ram vans from Stellantis and also ordered vans from Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz division to deliver packages.
— CNNBC John Rosewear contributed to this story.
WATCH: Rivian’s CEO is confident that the company will be able to produce 25,000 vehicles this year.