Amazon customer deliveries will look a little different in parts of Los Angeles. Just one year after announcing the purchase of 100,000 custom electric delivery vehicles as part of The Climate Pledge, Amazon has begun testing the new vans on delivery routes.
More customers will see the custom electric delivery vehicles cruising neighborhoods in up to 15 additional cities in 2021, ahead of tens of thousands of vehicles hitting the road over the next few years.
“We’re loving the enthusiasm from customers so far—from the photos we see online to the car fans who stop our drivers for a first-hand look at the vehicle,” said Ross Rachey, Director of Amazon’s Global Fleet and Products. “From what we’ve seen, this is one of the fastest modern commercial electrification programs, and we’re incredibly proud of that.”
Amazon partnered with Rivian, leveraging its customizable skateboard platform to create a first-of-its-kind all-electric delivery vehicle. “Rivian’s purpose is to deliver products that the world didn’t already have, to redefine expectations through the application of technology and innovation,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian Founder and CEO. “This milestone is one example of how Rivian and Amazon are working toward the world of 2040, and we hope it inspires other companies to fundamentally change the way that they operate.”
Amazon and Rivian began testing vehicles four months prior to making customer deliveries, as part of the testing and development process. Amazon is working with Rivian to conduct additional testing of the vehicle’s performance, safety durability in various climates and geographies, as engineers continue to refine the vehicles for the start of production slated for the end of this year. The current fleet of vehicles was built at Rivian’s studio in Plymouth, Michigan, and can drive up to 150 miles on a single charge.
Amazon has also started getting its buildings ready to accommodate the new fleet of vehicles and has installed thousands of electric vehicle charging stations at its delivery stations across North America and Europe.
In support of The Climate Pledge, Amazon is committed to achieving net-zero carbon across its operations by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement. To achieve this goal, Amazon is transforming its transportation network. Along with custom electric delivery vehicles, Amazon is exploring new technologies, alternative fuels, and delivery methods that deliver packages to customers in a more sustainable way. Amazon currently operates thousands of electric vehicles worldwide and is redesigning its delivery stations to service electric vehicles—ranging from the electrical design to the physical layout. Last year, Amazon delivered more than 20 million packages to customers in electric delivery vehicles across North America and Europe and will continue building on that momentum in 2021.