Online retail and technology giant Amazon said at an event today it plans to be completely carbon neutral come 2040, and electric-vehicle startup Rivian will help it get there.
Rivian said Thursday it will design, build and service a new electric van exclusively for Amazon. A representative confirmed with Roadshow this will not be a new vehicle for the public, but a dedicated electric delivery van for the online retailer. It looks like something along the lines of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, but with the cutesy Honda E face. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the company plans to purchase 100,000 of these unnamed Rivian electric vans and the electric-car startup plans for the first to hit the road by 2021.
Rivian confirmed the electric van production won’t interfere with its R1T and R1S truck and SUV production. The company also plans to build the electric van at the same Illinois-based facility where R1T and R1S vehicles will leave the assembly line. Come late 2022, Rivian expects to have 10,000 of the electric vans roaming streets with Amazon packages onboard. As mentioned, full deployment will see 100,000 of them on the road.
A company spokesperson added the full fleet will save an estimated 4 million metric tons of C02 from spewing into the atmosphere each year.
Rivian and Amazon forged a close relationship earlier this year after the retail and tech giant led a $700 million round of investments into the electric-car startup. Ford also invested in the startup automaker this year and plans to use its skateboard electric-vehicle architecture to build an EV.
The company’s first vehicles, the R1T and R1S, will see first deliveries occur by the end of 2020. Rivian said it will release more information on the Amazon electric van in the near future.