Friday, June 25, 2021
News Amazon and Rivian Show Off Electric Delivery Van

Amazon and Rivian Show Off Electric Delivery Van

Safety tech, drive ergonomics, and Alexa integration part of van highlights

  • Amazon wants to be carbon neutral by 2040

  • Rivian-designed van boasts easy package-delivery features


Amazon seems to be turning into a transportation company as much as they are already a retail goliath, and the latest step down that road is this: Their first custom electric delivery van, designed and built in a partnership with Rivian.

The do-everything internet giant has made vehicle partnerships before, including with Mercedes-Benz to built Sprinter vans, as has worked on both flying and driving drones, so this latest move isn’t much of a surprise. The partnership with Rivian, though, is.

“When we set out to create our first customized electric delivery vehicle with Rivian, we knew that it needed to far surpass any other delivery vehicle. We wanted drivers to love using it and customers to feel excited when they saw it driving through their neighbourhood and pulling up to their home,” said Ross Rachey, Director of Amazon’s Global Fleet and Products.

The electric delivery van is designed for the future, with the pairing offering far more than just an electric driveline (and a vehicle built on Rivian’s electric platform). The van will have a load of sensor detection capabilities and driver assistance tech to help make the routes safer and easier for drivers. A 360-camera view will be provided to let the driver see all around their vehicle, and Amazon Alexa integration will allow improved access to routing and other information updates.

The cabin will have what Amazon calls a “dancefloor” to let the driver move around more easily inside, and the driver’s door will be strengthened for extra protection. The cargo area will have three levels of shelves and a bulkhead with door for access and safety.

It’s also one of the best-looking purpose-built delivery vans we’ve ever seen (though we had already seen most of this shape after an announcement last year). While others of the type do things like borrowing headlights from a defunct Oldsmobile, this one has a futuristic (and adorable) nose that reminds us more of the Honda E. It also comes with a massive expanse of front glass that we assume makes front visibility excellent.

Amazon has targeted carbon neutrality across its operations by 2040, and electric vans like this are a big part of that. While Amazon said it will be adding more than 10,000 electrics to its fleet in Europe and India, there was no word on when this van might see actual parcel deliveries.

 

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