Amazon starts delivering packages with Rivian electric vans

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and Udit Madan stand in front of the new Rivian-based Amazon EV van. Amazon and Rivian are unveiling their latest custom electric delivery vehicles (EDVs) to start using them for delivery to customers, in Chicago, Illinois on July 21, 2022.

Jim Wondruska | Reuters

Amazon starts producing some electric delivery vans that he developed with Rivian Automotivethe companies announced Thursday.

In September 2019, Amazon founder and then-CEO Jeff Bezos stood on the stage at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to announce that the company has purchased 100,000 electric vehicles from the start-up as part of its ambitious drive to be carbon-neutral by 2040.

Amazon introduced a version of the van in October 2020and then tested cars in a number of cities during 2021. Now Amazon says it will use electric vehicles for delivery to several cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Tennessee, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and St. Louis. Louis among others.

Amazon said it plans to have “thousands” of Rivian vans in more than 100 cities by the end of this year, the first step towards its goal of having 100,000 electric delivery vehicles on U.S. roads by 2030.

“Combating the effects of climate change requires constant innovation and action, and Amazon is partnering with companies that share our passion for inventing new ways to minimize our environmental footprint,” said Amazon CEO Andy Jassi. “Rivian has been a great partner on this mission and we are excited to see our first custom electric delivery vehicles on the road.”

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said the vehicle rollout is a “milestone” in efforts to decarbonize “last mile” delivery.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and Amazon CEO Andy Jassi inspect one of the company’s electric vans.

Amazon

Amazon oversees a giant delivery and logistics network, and most of its shipping operations are done in-house. As part of that, it’s increasingly relying on a sprawling army of contract delivery companies to deliver packages to customers’ doorsteps, mostly using dark blue Amazon-branded fossil-fuel vans.

Rivian’s deployment ran into some issues. Last November, Amazon delivery drivers tasked with testing vehicles said the vans’ battery drained quickly when heating or cooling was on, threatening the vehicle’s range, and claimed it took an hour to charge the battery. Information. An Amazon spokesperson told the publication that the vehicles will have a range of 150 miles, more than enough for many shipping routes.

In May, Rivian filed a lawsuit against a supplier of seats for Amazon-ordered delivery vans, raising concerns that it could delay the vans. Wall Street Magazine reported.

Rivian has faced a number of challenges in ramping up production of its R1T and R1S electric vehicles. Company halve its production forecast for 2022 just up to 25,000 vehicles in March, including Amazon vans, amid supply chain restrictions and early problems with the assembly line. it repeated this prediction earlier this month. Rivian will publish its second quarter results on August 11th.

Amazon, which supported Rivian through Climate Collateral Fund, says it remains committed to building a more sustainable delivery fleet. To support the electric vans, Amazon has added thousands of charging stations to its US delivery warehouses.

Amazon has brought in automakers other than Rivian to electrify its fleet. In January, Amazon said it would buy thousands of Ram electric vans from Starand also ordered vans from the Daimler Mercedes-Benz division to deliver packages.

— CNNBC John Rosewear contributed to this story.

WATCH: Rivian’s CEO is confident that the company will be able to produce 25,000 vehicles this year.