Electric vehicle startup Rivian received 100K orders of electric vans from Amazon last year, and the two parties have been closely researching and developing a customized BEV van, which has made its debut recently, and a total of 10K units will begin service starting from 2021.
Nikola, which is in the midst of scam allegations, must be envious that local US electric vehicle startup Rivian has obtained the order of 100K units from Amazon prior to the completion of production. Amazon recently uploaded a video that reveals the appearance of the customized electric van that the two companies have been working on, and it looks rather modest.
Apart from being Rivian’s client, Amazon is also an investor of Rivian, so this electric van exclusively designed for Amazon is actually not a standard product of Rivian, but rather a special model that is developed based on the electric vehicle chassis system “Skateboard” of the company.
The special Amazon electric van is expected to have a minimum driving range of 240km, and is responsible for the last mile of Amazon’s substantial logistics. The multinational technology company hopes that consumers would no longer have to put up with noise and gas when they see the arrival of their goods.
This vehicle places particular emphases in driving safety, which comprises of a large windshield and a comprehensive driving assistance system, and the central control display is able to instantly provide 360° panoramic images and the images within the compartment, whereas the side door on the driver’s seat has also been further reinforced for an elevation of protection.
▲ Alexa is able to concatenate logistics information, allowing the driver to reach to the next destination without manual navigation.
Having participated in the process of vehicle production for the first time, it was a no brainer for Amazon to integrate its own voice assistant Alexa into the vehicle, which provides assistance to the driver such as navigation and weather. In addition, the floor at the driver’s seat is fully flat, which allows the driver to move between seats easily.
Whilst marching towards the objective of zero emission, Amazon is also constructing charging facilities and optimizing cargo station equipment simultaneously in order to exert the largest efficiency. This special electric van is expected to go on the road in the US next year, with global services commencing in 2022, and the total order of 100K units will be delivered by 2030.
▲ The rolled-up cargo door preserves space and facilitates easy cargo transportation, and the compartment is installed with three layers of shelves for storage purposes.
Amazon will be incorporating 1,800 units of electric vans in Europe by the end of this year, and another 10K units in the Indian market by 2025. The company has also initiated the delivery service using electric bicycles in Europe and downtown US metropolitan areas.
Judging by the enormous logistics scale of Amazon, it is an extremely arduous challenge for the company to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, though the customized vehicles provided by the automotive manufacturer that is invested by the company itself may perhaps reduce the throes during the transitional phase. For consumers, seeing their goods being delivered to the doorsteps from BEVs is definitely going to create a better result than that of diesel vehicles.
(Photo source: Amazon)