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Amazon rolls out electric delivery vans built by Rivian

RJ and Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy

Amazon rolls out electric delivery vans built by Rivian

Amazon is starting to roll out some of the electric delivery vehicles built in collaboration with Rivian Automotive.

The retailer expects to have "thousands" of Rivian vans in more than 100 locations by the end of the year.

It is the first step toward achieving the company's aim of having 100,000 electric delivery vans on the road in the US by 2030.

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said: “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.”

Amazon founder and then-CEO Jeff Bezos agreed to buy 100,000 electric vehicles from the startup in September 2019.

It was part of its ambitious goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions across all of its operations by 2040.

Amazon showed a model of the van in October 2020, and the vehicles were tested in many locations during 2021.

The retail giant now claims it will utilize electric vehicles to deliver packages in a number of cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Tennessee, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis.

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Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said the vehicle deployment marks a "milestone" in the company's efforts to decarbonize last-mile delivery.

Amazon manages a massive shipping and logistics chain, and the majority of its delivery operations are handled in-house.

As part of that, it is increasingly reliant on a vast army of outsourced delivery businesses to get items to consumers' doorsteps, most of which utilize dark blue Amazon-branded trucks that run on fossil fuels.

The Rivian deployment has encountered significant difficulties.

Last November, Amazon delivery drivers tasked with testing the vans stated the batteries drained fast when heating or cooling was on, affecting the vehicle's range, and alleged that charging the battery took an hour.

An Amazon executive informed the outlets that the trucks would have a range of 150 miles, which is more than adequate for many delivery routes.

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Rivian launched a complaint in May against a supplier of seats for Amazon delivery vehicles, raising worries that the vans may be delayed.

Due to supply chain limitations and early challenges with its assembly line, the firm lowered its 2022 production target in half in March, to just 25,000 cars, including Amazon's vans.

It has installed hundreds of charging stations at its US delivery facilities to support electric vans.

Other than Rivian, Amazon has enlisted the help of other automakers to electrify its fleet.

Amazon said in January that it will purchase thousands of electric Ram vans from Stellantis, and it has also bought vans from Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division for package delivery.

Source: CNBC

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