Amazon adds 5,000th Rivian electric delivery van to U.S. fleet

July 18, 2023
After ordering 100,000 last-mile delivery EVs, the e-commerce giant also is ramping up its middle-mile sustainability with more Class 8 electric vehicles and charging infrastructure nationwide.

Amazon's growing U.S. fleet now includes some 5,000 Rivian electric delivery vans, meeting the needs of its e-commerce customers and helping the company achieve its promise of creating a more sustainable private fleet.

"This is just the start of what will be 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030, at which time Amazon will eliminate millions of metric tons of carbon per year," a spokesperson for the e-commerce giant told FleetOwner in a statement.

Rivian was one of the first OEMs to benefit from Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund, a venture investment program with an initial $2 billion in funding, supporting the development of sustainable technologies with a goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

"We worked together on everything from designing the size and space of the interior to what the headlights look like, and even the sound the vehicles make when they're on the road," Amazon representative Katie Larsen told FleetOwner. "You can't help but smile when you're driving it,"

The Rivian vans were built with a focus on driver safety and experience, according to Larsen. They were tested by company drivers, who influenced the design of the 100,000 vans the company ordered.

See also: Rivian sticks to full-year production target

Amazon partners with utilities and more on electrification

Amazon, the nation's sixth-largest private fleet, according to the FleetOwner 500: Top Private Fleets of 2023 rankings, has worked closely with charging network operators, utilities, and energy companies. Working with charging network operators and utilities and energy companies, Amazon developed a strategy to engage utility partners across stations and provide a five-year power outlook to ensure they can plan for the future, a company spokesperson told FleetOwner.

In addition to the thousands of chargers it has installed at delivery stations, the company built more than 290 chargers for heavy-duty vehicles across over 120 sites in the U.S. To expand its fleet in the middle mile, it is piloting electric Class 8 trucks in the U.S., and it already has 25 electric semi-trucks in the U.K. and Germany. Additionally, over 100 electric yard trucks are operating in sites nationwide, and  it recently ordered an additional 300.

See also: California, engine manufacturers enter Clean Truck Partnership to meet emissions goals

Amazon partnered with CERES, the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies, to launch the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance. Amazon also participates in industry groups, such as the Edison Institute, to frequently update its long-term forecasts and share learnings on how much power the industry will need, according to a company statement.

"Amazon is committed to sustainability because it's a win all aroundit's good for the planet, for businesses, our customers, and communities," Larsen told FleetOwner. "Within our Climate Pledge Fund, we've been investing in visionary companies across industries, including transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilization, manufacturing and materials, circular economy, and food and agriculture. Amazon has now invested in 22 companies, all of which are advancing technologies and business solutions that can help Amazon and others reach net-zero carbon by 2040."

Amazon ramps up global decarbonization effort

Amazon has put about 15 different models of electric vehicles on the road, including custom delivery vehicles, e-cargo bikes, and e-rickshaws, to test and learn across the U.S., the EU, and India.

Last autumn, the company announced plans to invest over 1 billion euro over the next five years to further electrify and decarbonize its transportation network across Europe. As of last week, customers in the Munich, Berlin, and Dusseldorf regions will start to see Rivian vans on the road, including more than 1,000 electric vans in Germany. Those vans have a shorter, thinner design than their U.S. counterparts to better fit European cities.

Amazon also has 30 renewable energy projects across the American Southeast. Once fully operational, its projects are expected to generate more than 7,500 gigawatt-hours of clean energyequivalent to the electricity needed to power more than 713,000 U.S. homes annually.

About the Author

Scott Keith

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