- David Ryder/Getty Images
- Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from the electric-vehicle startup Rivian.
- That hugely beefs up its last-mile logistics offering, which presently consists of 20,000 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans and 2,000 large delivery vans from Michigan-based Spartan.
- The tech giant led a $700 million investment round in Rivian earlier this year.
- The first vans will be ready for use by 2021, a Rivian representative told Reuters.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from the electric-vehicle startup Rivian.
Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, tweeted a rendering of what the vans may look like.
Our fleet is Electrifying! Thrilled to announce the order of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles – the largest order of electric delivery vehicles ever. Look out for the new vans starting in 2021. pic.twitter.com/y5qYpuy2WP
— Dave Clark (@davehclark) September 19, 2019
This new order significantly beefs up Amazon’s last-mile logistics offerings. Amazon already owns 20,000 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans for deliveries and, in July, Business Insider reported that the e-commerce giant bought another 2,000 vans from Michigan-based specialty vehicle company Spartan.
The choice to buy electric vehicles naturally boosts Amazon’s public image, especially as environmental critiques of super-fast e-commerce deliveries build. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the vehicle order at a National Press Club event around the company’s commitment to sustainability.
But, Seaport Global managing director Kevin Sterling said buying electric vans for last-mile has a hidden benefit: less downtime for maintenance.
“A lot of these contractors, they’re the ones who have to do the maintenance to these vehicles,” Sterling told Business Insider after the Amazon announcement. “In theory, electric is lower maintenance. You save on fuel costs maintenance costs.”
And last-mile vehicles are an easy way for Amazon to green its supply chain, Sterling said, as electric big rigs remain elusive. “You can use electric vehicles to do that last mile delivery because you’re moving lighter packages,” he said.
- Dave Clark/Twitter
Don’t expect all 100,000 electric vans to hit the road anytime soon, though. In a press release, Amazon said it expects to be using the full fleet by 2030.
A Rivian representative told Business Insider that the first vans will be delivered to Amazon by 2021. By that next year, 10,000 vans will be on the road.
The representative added that these vans will be custom-built for Amazon.
The online retailer led a $700 million investment round in Rivian earlier this year.
The Michigan-based startup plans to release an electric SUV and an electric pickup truck late next year. The vehicles will start around $60,000, and each will have a range that could top 400 miles. The Rivian representative told Business Insider the company doesn’t anticipate that the Amazon order will delay the production of the RT1 pickup or RT1 SUV.
Rivian has also received a $500 million investment from Ford, which will use Rivian’s platform in a new electric vehicle.
Are you a current or former Rivian employee? Do you have an opinion about what it’s like to work there? Contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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