Watch Now

Amazon unveils first custom electric delivery van built by Rivian

“We combined Rivian’s technology with our delivery logistics knowledge and the result is what you see here — the future of last-mile delivery.”

Heading to a garage near you (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

A “dance floor” inside the driver’s cabin for easy movement. 

Exterior cameras linked to a digital display inside the cabin, giving the driver a 360-degree view outside the vehicle.

Those are just two of the features in Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) highly anticipated new custom electric delivery van designed and built in partnership with electric vehicle company Rivian.

The e-giant formally revealed the first van Thursday in a company blog post featuring pictures and video of the custom-designed vehicle — a sleek, upscale and zero-emission version of the company’s ubiquitous gray delivery vans.

“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,” said Ross Rachey, director of Amazon’s global fleet and products, in the blog post. “We wanted drivers to love using it and customers to feel excited when they saw it driving through their neighborhood and pulling up to their home.”

“We combined Rivian’s technology with our delivery logistics knowledge and the result is what you see here — the future of last-mile delivery,” he said.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said in the statement that it “prioritized safety and functionality to create a vehicle that’s optimized for package delivery. We thought through how drivers get in and out of the van, what the work space feels like and what the workflow is for delivering packages.”

Amazon first announced the Rivian partnership last year as part of an ambitious Climate Pledge to be net zero carbon across its operations by 2040. The company has ordered 100,000 Rivian vans, and the first line-built vehicles are expected to be delivered in 2021. According to a spokesperson, vehicles will start delivering packages to customers next year, and Amazon will have 10,000 on the road worldwide as early as 2022 and all 100,000 on the road by 2030.

Other vehicle features include:

— Sensor detection, a suite of highway and traffic assist technology and a large windshield to enhance driver visibility.

— Alexa integration for hands-free access to route information and the latest weather updates.

— A strengthened door on the driver’s side for additional protection.

— Bright taillights surrounding the rear of the vehicle to detect braking.

— Three levels of shelving with a bulkhead door, which can be opened and closed for additional driver protection while on the road.

— a 150 mile range on a single charge

In addition to the vans, Amazon is working on charging infrastructure as well as “enhancements and optimization of our delivery stations,” said Rachey.

Related stories:

In last-mile electrification, Amazon sees another opportunity to dominate

In Rivian, Amazon may have ‘bespoke automobile’ at its service

Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to [email protected]