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Amazon's Rivian-built electric delivery van hits the road and begins package duty

Some of the first electric vans hit the road in Los Angeles, but 100,000 of them are coming in due time.

It's a big day for Amazon and electric vehicle startup Rivian. On Wednesday, the online retailer and tech giant said the first of its new, Rivian-built electric delivery vans hit the road in Los Angeles, which marks the first of 100,000 to come. The time frame is truly remarkable as Amazon points out the van went from a few renderings in September 2019 to hitting the road for deliveries this month.

It's a major boon for both Amazon and Rivian. The latter remains a startup readying its first vehicles for customers this year in the R1T pickup and R1S SUV. The former pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2040 across its entire business. Rolling out zero-emissions vans to delivery packages around the world is a pretty big step. Though the vans hitting the streets this month are delivering packages, they're technically still in a testing period. The two started testing the vans on the road four months ago, ensuring they work well in all weather conditions and beyond.

While the companies prepare to unleash thousands more in the US this year across 15 more cities, Amazon's busy outfitting its buildings with charging stations to accommodate its zero-emissions delivery force. The entire fleet of electric vans will hit make their way to city streets through the end of this decade. And as Amazon becomes an increasingly important company for so many Americans, fewer emissions from its services can't come soon enough.