Amazon has unveiled its first custom electric delivery vehicle, designed and built in partnership with Rivian, which is plans to have on the road in 2022.
Amazon is a signatory of The Climate Pledge, which includes a commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040, and to this end Amazon plans to have 10,000 custom electric delivery vehicles on the road worldwide as early as 2022 and all 100,000 by 2030. This is one of three different models that Amazon has invested in and completely customised with Rivian to enhance the driver experience and optimise safety.
“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,” said Ross Rachey, director of Amazon’s Global Fleet and Products. “We wanted drivers to love using it and customers to feel excited when they saw it driving through their neighbourhood and pulling up to their home. We combined Rivian’s technology with our delivery logistics knowledge, and the result is… the future of last mile delivery.”
RJ Scaringe, Rivian CEO, added: “The vehicle we’ve developed with Amazon is not just electric. We prioritized safety and functionality to create a vehicle that’s optimized for package delivery. We thought through how drivers get in and out of the van, what the workspace feels like and what the workflow is for delivering packages.”
Amazon’s custom electric vehicle has a range of features including state-of-the-art sensor detection, a suite of highway and traffic assist technology, and a large windscreen to enhance driver visibility.
It also has exterior cameras around the vehicle that are linked to a digital display inside the cabin, giving the driver a 360-degree view outside the vehicle.
The vehicle will also be integrated with Alexa for hands-free access to route information and weather updates.
It will also have three levels of shelving with a bulkhead door, which can easily be opened and closed for additional driver protection while on the road.
Prior to investing in Rivian, Amazon says it was unable to find electric options that met the needs of its drivers and delivery operations. Instead of waiting for the industry to advance, Amazon partnered with Rivian to accelerate the path to an electric delivery vehicle that fit its needs. Rachey believes the vehicle will reset industry expectations for electric delivery vehicle capabilities.
“We hope our custom electric vehicle helps create a sense of urgency in the industry to think big about embracing sustainable technology and solutions – whether you’re a package delivery company, a logistics company, an ice cream manufacturer, or almost anyone else with vehicles on the road,” said Rachey.