Amazon has been clear about its intentions of delivering packages with an all-electric fleet of vehicles. On Thursday, it unveiled the van that will fulfill that promise. The electric vehicle is built by Rivian and boasts an array of high-tech features.
The e-commerce giant projects that it will have 10,000 electric vans on the road “as early as 2022” and plans to expand its fleet to 100,000 vehicles by 2030.
Meet Amazon’s New Van
So far, Amazon hasn’t revealed many specifics regarding the electric performance of its new delivery van. That includes information about its battery, drivetrain, range, and similar metrics.
However, the company did share plenty of details about the van’s other features. For instance, it features external cameras that give the driver a 360-degree view of the world.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon included its own Alexa digital assistant in the van. Drivers will be able to access hands-free navigation, weather updates, and more.
The new van features a reinforced driver-side door to improve driver safety. In the back, there are three levels of shelving on either wall. Drivers will be able to access packages quickly and easily thanks to a bulkhead door.
Finally, the new Rivian-made van comes equipped with an advanced driver-assist system and roomy displays in the cockpit. These features shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the fact that Amazon is positioning this van as its delivery vehicle of the future.
In a statement, Amazon said of its new van, “When we set out to create our first customized electric delivery vehicle with Rivian, we knew that it needed to far surpass any other delivery vehicle. We wanted drivers to love using it and customers to feel excited when they saw it driving through their neighborhood and pulling up to their home.”
“We combined Rivian’s technology with our delivery logistics knowledge, and the result is what you see here—the future of last mile delivery,” it adds.
The logistics industry is a huge contributor to global emissions. According to 2018 data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector accounted for 28 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than the agriculture, commercial, and residential sectors combined.
Although that data also factors in consumers and their cars, those vehicles tend to be much more efficient than the heavy-duty trucks and vans used for deliveries and logistics.
As such, Amazon’s commitment to electrifying its fleet of delivery vans is good news for the environment. It is currently eyeing 2040 as its target date for becoming a carbon-neutral company. Amazon is one of many tech firms leading the way in this area. The likes of Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Intel also have plans to become carbon-neutral or carbon-negative within the next few decades.
Rivian Making Headway
Rivian might not be as well-known as other electric carmakers. However, it has certainly made a name for itself in the past few years. It first debuted an electric pickup truck and SUV in 2018 after operating in secrecy since 2009.
Last year was a big year for the startup as it drew a massive slate of investments from top-tier companies, including Amazon and Ford. Bezos committed to purchasing 100,000 delivery vans while Ford spent $500 million to jointly create an electric vehicle that it will sell.
This July, the startup completed a massive $2.5 billion funding round led by T. Rowe Price with additional participation from Amazon.
As interest in electric vehicles continues to grow, Rivian appears to be perfectly positioned to take advantage of those opportunities.