The folks at Inside EVs noticed something in a press package from CES 2022 that most others missed. It said, “As part of a separate agreement with Stellantis, Amazon will be the first commercial customer for Stellantis’ new Ram ProMaster Battery Electric Vehicle launching in 2023. Stellantis, with input from Amazon, designed the vehicle with unique last mile delivery features and Amazon will deploy the vehicles to routes across the United States. Building on the current relationship and as part of the long-term agreement, Stellantis and Amazon will be putting thousands of BEV ProMasters on the road every year.”
Amazon has bought thousands of delivery vans from Mercedes, Ford, and Stellantis to bring packages to its customers in North America for years. Even though it has a 20% ownership stake in Rivian and expects to purchase 100,000 of its electric delivery vans, its need for such vehicles is so massive that it will continue to buy trucks from traditional manufacturers to get the hundreds of thousands of packages it delivers every day from its warehouses — called fulfillment centers — to its customers.
The upcoming battery-powered Ram ProMaster will be the brand’s first ever all-electric model when it debuts in the second half of 2023 as a rival for Ford’s E-Transit and Rivian’s EDV. Stellantis hasn’t yet revealed any details about its electric delivery van, Inside EVs says, but it’s expected to be based on the updated 2022 Ram ProMaster unveiled last August.
In a statement to CNBC, an Amazon spokesperson said the Stellantis deal does not affect the company’s existing contract with Rivian. “We always knew that our ambitious sustainability goals in our last mile operations would require multiple electric delivery van providers. We continue to be excited about our relationship with Rivian, and this doesn’t change anything about our investment, collaboration, or order size and timing.”
A spokesperson for Rivian says the announcement is “good news for the industry, for Rivian and for Amazon. Large fleets focused on electrification and carbon neutrality represent a win for the mission of both companies. Amazon’s scale is globally unprecedented, and we expect them to purchase vehicles from many providers — our own partnership with them is intact, thriving, and growing.”
There’s one more bit of news here. Stellantis has announced that Amazon will provide it with cloud computing services and in-car dashboard software. It is also providing similar services to Rivian. For EV advocates, the good news is that Stellantis is planning to introduce an electric van next year. We can speculate that the basic platform and powertrain of that vehicle will be similar to those for the upcoming Ram electric pickup truck that will compete with the Chevy Silverado EV and Ford F-150 Lightning. The EV revolution continues to gather momentum.
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