Online eCommerce company Amazon ordered 100,000 Electric delivery Vans from US based startup Rivian.
Amazon, which currently delivers 5 billion products per year is committed to meet the Paris Agreement 10 Years early through this deal.
The move is a major boost to Rivian, a Tesla like automaker that will launch its first production vehicle next year.
Based at Michigan, Rivian is custom designing the vans including exterior, interior, suspension, and software for Amazon. Amazon will deploy the vans globally.
Rivian aims to deliver the first Amazon vans by 2021, and to deliver 10,000 by late 2022.
In a press release, Amazon said it expects to have the full fleet on the road by 2030. The automaker will also service the vans (though electric vehicles require less maintenance than their gas and diesel powered counterparts), and won’t offer the vehicles to other buyers.
The startup was founded in 2009 with a focus on hybrids, and in 2011 it turned its attention to fully electric vehicles. Rivian has developed one “skateboard” design, on which all its vehicles are based. That includes a 180-kWh battery pack, nearly double Tesla’s largest offering and, according to Rivian, good for 450 miles of range, even in a heavy, not-so-aerodynamic vehicle.
Rivian plans to start building next year, the $69,000 R1T pickup truck and $72,500 R1S SUV.
Recently, Amazon ordered 20,000 vans from Daimler and about 2,000 vans from Michigan-based Spartan. Once Rivian adds its 100,000 to that pile, Amazon’s van fleet will roughly equal the 130,000 vehicles in UPS’s global fleet.
Amazon is also one of the investor in Rivian, invested $700 million. Going electric could help assuage Amazon workers upset by their employer’s role in the climate crisis, and should save the company on fuel costs recharging even a large battery pack usually costs just a few dollars.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the order is focused on climate-change issues.
However, an Amazon spokesperson declined to answer questions about how much it will pay per vehicle, and how it will incorporate the vans into its network.