Amazon customers across major cities in the US may soon start seeing a new type of vehicle delivering their packages. On Thursday, Amazon began sending out its fleet of Rivian-built electric delivery vans across several cities, including Baltimore, Nashville, Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Phoenix and San Diego.
This is the next step in Amazon's long-term plan to have 100,000 Rivian-built electric vehicles delivering for the online retail giant by 2030. The company also said it expects to have the electric vehicles delivering to more than 100 cities by the end of this year.
"This is an incredibly exciting day for both Rivian and Amazon. Hundreds of our custom Amazon delivery vans are officially on the road and making deliveries, thanks to years of close collaboration between our teams," RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian, said in a statement.
The Rivian delivery vans were built from the "ground up" specifically for Amazon, with the company touting that the vehicles are not only more sustainable, but also safer and more comfortable for its drivers. The expansion of the electric fleet is also a major point in Amazon's Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
This follows testing of the Rivian electric fleet in Los Angeles in early 2021. Since then, doubts about Rivian vehicles' battery life and an announcement by the company in early 2022 that they would be decreasing production have led to concerns about Amazon's ability to keep up with its 2030 goal.
With the stated goal of 100,000 electric vehicles in Amazon's fleet by 2030, Amazon hopes to save millions of metric tons of carbon per year. Additionally, the company says it's "on a path" to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.