Rivian, Amazon Provide New Details on Upcoming Electric Vans
Rivian may be making headlines for partnering with Lincoln for an upcoming electric vehicle or because of its R1T electric pickup truck and R1S electric SUV, but the electric startup still has a hefty contract with Amazon to fulfill. Amazon has plans to purchase 100,000 units of the exclusive EVs and wants to start using them by 2021. Now, the two companies have put out some more information on Rivian's upcoming electric delivery van.
Custom Vans For Increased Efficiency
In a blog post, Amazon outlines how it spent 18 months evaluating electric vehicles from different automakers, but eventually decided that going with a custom van made the most sense. A custom van allows designers to work with drivers, allowing them to design things with optimization in mind, like loading and unloading packages, visibility, and how the seat feels. Since the vehicles are still being manufactured, Rivian's factory has a virtual reality test where drivers can examine the van in a digital world.
"We are focused on driving efficiency into every aspect of the vehicle design – everything from cabin heating to driver ergonomics to drivetrain design has been optimized for time and energy," said R.J. Scaringe, CEO of Rivian. "And then the echo effect of this, of causing other logistics players in this space to also look at how they drive up efficiency within their fleet, will have a very large impact."
Aiding drivers in making shipments as efficiently and painlessly as possible is a digital instrument cluster and a central display screen that features Amazon's logistics management. Things like routing and package delivery technology systems are displayed in a way that makes it easy for drivers to put more focus toward driving the vehicle. The vehicles, obviously, will also have Amazon Alexa integration for further ease of use.
When The Delivery Vans Are Coming
Amazon wants the electric delivery vehicles to be on the road as soon as 2021. By 2022, it wants to have 10,000 vehicles in its fleet. 2030 is the expected date for all 100,000 delivery vehicles to be in use. The reasoning behind the goal is to help Amazon reach its part of The Climate Pledge, which is the company's goal of meeting the Paris Agreement a decade early.
"We're trying to build the most sustainable transportation fleet in the world," said Ross Rachey, director of Amazon's global fleet and products. "It also needs to be the most functional, the highest performing, the safest."
Since delivery vehicles rack up the most miles in an incredibly short amount of time, it makes sense for companies that rely heavily on them to move toward more efficient types of transportation.
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