From ferrying paying customers to outer space to ferrying deliveries with zero carbon emissions, Amazon is carrying us into the future at an accelerated rate. Over the weekend, we saw the first glimpse of the fleet of all-electric Amazon delivery vans from its manufacturer, Rivian. So far, these vans were spotted solo during testing in various cities in the US. The delivery of the vehicles to Amazon might begin soon.
The Paris Accord urges businesses to become carbon neutral by 2050. Amazon is pushing itself to achieve this, 10 years earlier, by 2040. The all-electric fleet of delivery vehicles is part of this plan. Unveiled last year, three variants of delivery vans have been designed.
Amazon intends to use 10,000 vehicles in its fleet by the end of 2022 and increase this number to 100,000 by the year 2030. Amazon's efforts are not concentrated in the US alone. In January of 2020, Amazon promised to include 10,000 electric rickshaws in its delivery fleet in India by 2025.
The delivery vehicles to be used in the US also bring a host of features such as large windshields, exterior cameras giving 360-degree views on a screen, state-of-the-art sensors, highway and traffic assists, Alexa integration for route information, strengthened driver side door, and three levels of shelving for improving driver comfort and safety during deliveries.
These custom-designed vehicles are being manufactured by Rivian, a company with headquarters in Irvine, California that is promising electric adventure vehicles in the form of a pick-up truck, the R1T, and an SUV, the R1S. Yet to deliver a vehicle to a paying customer, Rivian made global news in 2019, when Amazon invested $700 million in the company and gave it a single order of 100,000 electric vehicles for its delivery fleet.
Tweets from Rivian CEO, RJ Scaringe show that the company is much closer to this goal now.
I love these! pic.twitter.com/roAQy4Xff2— RJ Scaringe (@RJScaringe) July 3, 2021
While detailed specifications are now yet available for Amazon's fleet, it is expected to have a range of 150 miles (241 kilometers) on a single charge. They are also likely to be tailored to Amazon's requirements of low energy, low maintenance, and affordability.
Meanwhile, deliveries for Rivian's pickup trucks slated for June have been pushed to July, while the SUV is expected in August. With its high-powered vehicles, Rivian is aiming to tap into the high-end segment of electric vehicles, competing with Model X from Tesla.