Amazon reveals details of first custom electric delivery vehicle

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Amazon has revealed details of its first custom electric delivery vehicle, which could be on the roads as soon as 2022.

Designed and built by EV manufacturer Rivian, the vehicle – of which there are three models – has a range of features including a brake light that surrounds the rear of the vehicle, sensor detection, traffic assist technology and exterior cameras linked to a digital display inside the cabin for 360-degree view.

Amazon’s Alexa has been integrated into the vehicle for hands-free route information. To protect stock, there are three levels of shelving, a bulkhead door and the driver’s door is also strengthened for additional protection.

Amazon said that, prior to partnering with Rivian, it had been unable to find electric options that met the needs of its drivers and delivery operations. The e-commerce giant subsequently worked with Rivian to design an electric delivery vehicle that met its requirements.

RJ Scaringe, Rivian CEO, said: “The vehicle we’ve developed with Amazon is not just electric. We prioritised safety and functionality to create a vehicle that’s optimised for package delivery. We thought through how drivers get in and out of the van, what the work space feels like and what the work flow is for delivering packages.”

This is one of three different models that Amazon has invested in and customised with Rivian to enhance the driver experience and optimise safety

According to Amazon, it aims to have 100,000 of these EVs in service by 2030 as part of a wider climate pledge to be a carbon net zero company by 2040.

“We hope our custom electric vehicle helps create a sense of urgency in the industry to think big about embracing sustainable technology and solutions – whether you’re a package delivery company, a logistics company, an ice cream manufacturer, or almost anyone else with vehicles on the road,” said Ross Rachey, director of Amazon’s global fleet and products.

Rachey added that Amazon is working to advance and implement the technology that will support the vans, ranging from the physical charging infrastructure to enhancements and optimisation of its delivery stations.

Amazon had previously announced that it is to add 1,800 electric delivery vehicles this year to its fleet in Europe and 10,000 to its fleet in India, operating in over 20 cities, by 2025. Furthermore, in the EU, the the company has introduced e-cargo bikes for deliveries in some urban centres and operates 200 e-cargo bikes in the New York City area.

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