Rivian took a $700 million round of funding led by Amazon in 2019. Shortly after, the two companies announced Amazon would be purchasing a whopping 100,000 electric delivery vans specifically made for the retail giant, and produced by Rivian.
In recent months, a few videos surfaced of the electric delivery van. One was even seen singing (or screeching depending on how you feel about the sound) through the suburbs of Los Angeles while continuing on its delivery route. Rivian was expected to begin production of the electric delivery van in 2021 aiming to have 10,000 vans delivering packages by 2022, with the rest hitting the road by 2030.
Now Amazon has officially confirmed they have started testing the electric delivery in the Los Angeles area. The company even released a video along with its announcement: “Amazon customer deliveries will look a little different in parts of Los Angeles. Just one year after announcing the purchase of 100,000 custom electric delivery vehicles as part of The Climate Pledge, Amazon has begun testing the new vans on delivery routes.”
Director of Amazon’s Global Fleet and Products, Ross Rachey, said about the announcement: “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 firsthand look at the vehicle. From what we’ve seen, this is one of the fastest modern commercial electrification programs, and we’re incredibly proud of that.”
Rivian Founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe added: “Rivian’s purpose is to deliver products that the world didn’t already have, to redefine expectations through the application of technology and innovation. This milestone is one example of how Rivian and Amazon are working toward the world of 2040, and we hope it inspires other companies to fundamentally change the way that they operate.”
Although no specs have been released regarding the vans powertrain, we did learn with the announcement that it has a range upto 150 miles. As part of upping its fleet to 10,000 electric vans by 2022, Amazon also confirmed the electric delivery van will start delivering in “up to 15 additional cities in 2021.”