People in ten US cities are about to see a new delivery vehicle from Rivian on the road delivering Amazon packages. The e-commerce giant has been working with Rivian to create a more sustainable fleet of vehicles that will help it reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
The vehicles are built from the bottom up with safety, sustainability, and comfort in mind, and they have all been extensively driven by drivers across the country. They’re the result of Amazon’s collaboration with Rivian, which the firms announced in 2019 after Amazon co-founded it and became the first signatory of The Climate Pledge — a commitment to reduce emissions in order to meet the Paris Agreement ten years early.
Amazon’s support for Rivian is another indication of its commitment to make transportation more environmentally friendly. Amazon’s efforts with Rivian are an important element in decarbonizing its last-mile logistics and accelerating innovation that can benefit others. By 2030, Amazon will save millions of metric tons of carbon each year thanks to its promise to have all 100,000 of its new electric delivery vehicles on the road.
The move comes as Amazon is trying to speed up the transition to cleaner energy across its business and has set a goal of being net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.
The distinctive electric vehicles will soon be hitting the road in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis, among other cities. Amazon’s plan is to bring more than 100,000 electric delivery vehicles to the United States by 2030. This is just the beginning of what will undoubtedly be thousands of custom Amazon motor vehicles in more than 100 cities by the end of this year — and millions across the country by 2030.
“Today represents an important step, not just for Amazon and Rivian as partners, but also for transportation and the environment,” said RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian. “In 2019, Rivian and Amazon committed to fast-tracking a new type of delivery vehicle that would result in a significant reduction of 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 this partnership has kickstarted decarbonization projects across the logistics delivery industry.”
Rivian’s custom vehicles are manufactured in Illinois at Rivian’s facility, and they include cutting-edge technology and amenities such as:
- The design focuses on superior 360-degree visibility and vehicle features that safeguard drivers and pedestrians, such as autonomous emergency braking.
- A suite of cutting-edge safety technologies, including sensor detection, highway and traffic assist technology, a large windshield to enhance driver visibility, automated emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.
- The first in-vehicle technology to bring the delivery process together with the vehicle, allowing for seamless access to routing, navigation and driver assistance.
- There are features to make the driver’s experience better, such as automated door locking/unlocking as the driver approaches or departs the vehicle, and a powered bulkhead door that opens when drivers reach their destination.
- For added protection, a stronger driver’s side door has been installed, and an ergonomically designed driver’s compartment and cargo area for easy access.
- Batteries that are light, robust, and cost-effective in addition to lasting the vehicle’s life.
Amazon has been using Rivian pre-production vehicles to deliver goods since 2021, transporting over 430,000 packages and driving nearly 90,000 miles. This extensive testing has helped Rivian to continuously improve the vehicle’s performance, safety, and durability in a variety of conditions and regions. Rivian has also received certifications with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“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,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon. “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.”
The new delivery vehicles are just one part of Amazon’s broader sustainability efforts, which also include building solar farms and wind farms to power its operations, as well as investing in electric vehicle charging stations. The company has also been working on other initiatives such as planting trees and developing packaging that is easier to recycle.
Why This Matters
As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon has a huge environmental footprint. The company has been working to reduce its impact on the environment, and this latest move is a significant step in that direction. Rivian’s electric delivery vehicles will help Amazon reduce the footprint of last-mile deliveries, which are typically the most polluting part of the delivery process.
This is also a big win for Rivian, which has been working to establish itself as a leader in the electric vehicle space. The company has already secured orders from other major companies, including Ford and Amazon’s competitor Walmart. Rivian’s success is a sign that the electric vehicle market is beginning to take off, and that major companies are starting to take sustainability seriously.
The electric delivery vehicle market is still in its early stages, and there are a number of challenges that need to be addressed before it can reach its full potential. These include the high cost of batteries, the lack of charging infrastructure, and range anxiety. However, Amazon’s commitment to using Rivian’s electric delivery vehicles is a big step in the right direction, and it is likely that other companies will follow suit.
As we see more companies like Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and GM’s BrightDrop enter the space, we’ll see electric deliveries go mainstream. But, it’s going to be tough to know when a package arrives without that familiar diesel engine clatter!
Featured image provided by Amazon.
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