Amazon Unveils EV Delivery Fleet — A Step Toward Carbon Neutrality Goal

By Thomas Price Monday, October 12, 2020

The growing fears over the oncoming threat of climate change has resulted in many businesses making bold pledges to make massive changes in their emissions, with some of them setting carbon-neutral benchmarks to hit within the next 20 years. One of those companies is the retail juggernaut, Amazon. One of the many ways the company is trying to make that happen is by converting its enormous fleet of delivery vehicles to electric. The unveiling of the new electric delivery van puts the company a step closer to their lofty goal, with, of course, a major help from electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian, who designed and built it. What can be expected from the fleet of electric vehicles, and what other steps is Amazon taking to reach carbon neutrality?

Amazon and Rivian’s Electric Delivery Vans

Amazon has been making major strides toward optimizing their delivery strategies through various ideas, including launching a fleet of drones for lower distance packages. However, the new fleet of electric vehicles is more focused on reducing emissions, though some gains should be made in fuel prices. What is known currently is that there will be exterior cameras connected to inside digital displays, which will give drivers a full 360-degree view of outside the vehicle. Alexa will also come standard in the vans so drivers can easily ask for directions or weather updates. While major factors such as drivetrain, battery range, or Amazon plans on launching the fleet of the electric vans are already available starting in 2021, the plans for the near future are much larger.

The company has already stated that they plan to have 10,000 electric delivery vans on the road by 2022, with an even loftier 100,000 expected to be operating by 2030. Amazon has enlisted the help of startup manufacturing company Rivian to be the designer and manufacturer of these vans.

Rivian is currently best known for its electric pickup truck, the R1T, and their electric SUV, the R1S. Each of these electric vehicles sells for around $70,000, and both have an impressive 400-mile range per battery charge, reaching 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds. The unveiling of an electric delivery vehicle powered by Rivian was expected to reach a certain level, given the massive $2.5 billion investment into the company that Amazon was a part of earlier this year, along with Ford and Cox Automotive. Due to these investments, along with current orders, Rivian is set for a strong future in the coming years.

Rivian has had a semi-successful past few years, so much more can soon be expected from the company. A major development comes from the fact that Rivian will begin delivering the already 10,000 pre-ordered vehicles by the start of the final quarter in 2020. On top of this is the guaranteed cash flow coming from the 100,000 ordered vehicles from Amazon alone. Rivian plans to also diversify its revenue streams by creating a vehicle subscription service, among other new ideas. Projections for Rivian expect the company to eclipse 50,000 annual units sold by 2025.

Amazon and Carbon Neutrality

The unveiling of a soon to be 100,000 unit strong electric delivery vehicle fleet falls under major plans for Amazon, who pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040. The pledge has been backed up by an impressive $2 billion climate pledge fund. Besides launching their fleet of electric vehicles, Amazon’s plan to achieve this goal includes deploying green technology, powering all aspects of their business with 100% renewable energy by 2025, and making all Amazon shipment 100% carbon neutral by the 2040 mark. The significant amount of money put behind this goal suggests that these intentions are going to be kept. The Climate Pledge Fund from Amazon is extremely ambitious; however, since it has been announced, the company has actually increased its total carbon emissions by 15%.

Final Conclusions

Amazon’s unveiling of their new electric delivery vehicle fleet marks a major step in their ambitious plans for carbon neutrality. For Rivian, their partnership with Amazon marks the future prosperity of the company, with 100,000 guaranteed orders waiting to be delivered. With a strong battery range on Rivian’s current available models, the fleet should be an efficient and worthwhile endeavor beyond simply being more environmentally friendly.

About the Author

Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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