Online retail giant Amazon is planning on stepping up its efforts at reducing its climate impact, and electric vehicle startup Rivian will help it get there. Today Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company has a goal of reducing its carbon emissions to zero by 2040, and part of that goal includes the purchase of 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian. The partnership between Rivian and Amazon could be incredibly important for them both.
Rivian & Amazon
The relationship between Amazon and Rivian has been growing this year, and for good reason. Back in February Amazon lead a $700 million investment in the electric vehicle startup and essentially forged an alliance between the two companies. Presumably, Amazon hopes to aid in the development of delivery vehicles that will reinforce its logistics network, as well as potentially reshape the automotive industry.
Of course, Rivian is not the only company benefiting from Amazon’s goodwill. They have also dropped $530 million in funding on self-driving car startup Aurora Innovation for likely similar reasons.
The Rivian Vans
These unnamed vans will be designed, built, and serviced exclusively for Amazon, not available for purchase by the public. The prototype will probably arrive as soon as 2020, while the first production vans will hit the road in 2021. This means by the end of 2022 we could expect to see 10,000 of Rivian’s electric vans on the streets bearing Amazon’s colors, with the full deployment of 100,000 out by 2024.
This is a pretty hefty commitment for Rivian, but the company says that the development and production of Amazon’s electric vans will not interfere with its upcoming R1T and R1S truck and SUV production. Both the vans and Rivian’s other vehicles will be produced in Rivian’s Illinois-based factory.
While electric vehicle startup Rivian is relatively new on the scene, it hit the ground running with the reveal of its all-electric R1T pickup and the R1S SUV back in November of 2018 and does not seem to have slowed down since. Deliveries of its first two models should begin in late 2020, and if all goes well, four additional models will follow through 2025.
To date, this order is the largest of any electric delivery vehicles ever made. A Rivian spokesman stated that the full electric fleet will save an estimated 4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from belching into the atmosphere every year.