Amazon unveiled its first fully electric delivery van as we enter the weekend. Developed by Rivian, a startup specializing in electric vehicles, the vehicle will feature the latest technologies such as sensing equipment and an advanced driver assistance system. The e-commerce giant says it expects 10 thousand vans to be on the road, delivering “as early as 2022”, with a total fleet of 100,000 vehicles by 2030.
“When we started developing our first customized electric delivery vehicle with Rivian, we knew it had to far outstrip all other delivery vehicles. We wanted drivers to love to drive it and be excited when customers see them drive through their neighborhoods and come to their homes. Ross Rachey, director of Amazon’s global fleet and products, said in a statement. “We combined Rivian’s technology with our knowledge of delivery logistics, and the result is what you see here is the future of its delivery in the last step”
Amazon did not provide any details about the vehicle’s powertrain, battery, range, or other relevant specifications. As with most modern cars on the road, the van will have external cameras connected to the digital display inside the cabin, giving the driver a 360-degree view outside the vehicle. Naturally, it will come integrated with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant for hands-free navigation assistance and weather updates.
The driver’s side door is reinforced for greater protection, while the rear of the vehicle will have three levels of racks with a bay door for quick access. Amazon says the most interesting part will be the part called “dance floor” in the driver’s cabin for easy movement inside the minibus. We may see TikTok videos from many delivery staff in the future.
Rivian is a relatively new name in the electric vehicle industry. Although it has been operating undercover since 2009, it launched its pickup truck and SUV at the end of November 2018. Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe eventually pushed the company towards the customer segment looking for more action and adventure.
Rivian managed to receive enormous investments from a number of big players, including Amazon, last year. Jeff Bezos’ company led a $ 700 million funding round in February 2019, but did not fully disclose the amount it contributed. In April, Ford announced that it has invested $ 500 million in Rivian, which will result in a new electric vehicle to be sold by the auto giant. (This vehicle was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.) Recently, Rivian also received an investment of 350 million dollars from Cox Automotive, a big name in retail and logistics. And then, in July 2020, the company managed to pull off its biggest investment ever. He raised $ 2.5 billion in a tour led by T. Rowe Price, which also included Amazon.
Rivian has demonstrated two of its vehicles so far: the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV. Regarding its vehicles built on the same technological platform and starting at $ 70,000, Rivian claims that it can go about 650 kilometers on a single charge, accelerating to 100 kilometers per hour in under three seconds. Finally, he notes that they can go on their own in a certain capacity.