The first of 100,000 electric trucks Rivian is making for Amazon have taken to the streets of Los Angeles, as the e-commerce giant takes the first steps in a low-carbon overhaul of its delivery fleet. The trucks have been rolled out as part of testing along selected routes, with the company hoping to introduce them in more than a dozen other US cities before the year is out.
It was back in September of 2019 that Rivian entered an agreement with Amazon to supply it with 100,000 electric trucks to help it clean up its business operations. That effort includes a pledge from Amazon to be completely carbon neutral by 2040, and a shift to delivery vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions will be a key part of the solution.
It is in October of last year that we got our first real look at this vehicle, which has been built from the ground up to suit Amazon’s delivery operations. That means a large windshield with 360-degree cameras for panoramic views of the driver’s surroundings, integrated Alexa and a “dancefloor” space inside the cabin for easy loading and unloading of packages. We learn today that these vehicles can also drive up to 150 miles (240 km) on a single charge.
Amazon says it has spent the past four months testing the vehicles, and these early customer deliveries throughout LA are a part of that continued testing. This includes assessing the vehicle’s safety and performance across different climates and geographies, with the company hoping to deploy them in 15 other cities, and then refine the design before kicking off production later in the year.
“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,” says 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 says it will roll out tens of thousands of electric delivery vehicles over the next few years.