Amazon announced on Thursday that it would be implementing a newly formed climate change pledge for its business where it aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement.
As part of that endeavor, the e-commerce giant announced that it would be ordering 100,000 custom electric delivery vehicles from startup Rivian, based in Chicago.
The order is set to be for a previously unrevealed commercial vehicle that will be designed and built at Rivian's Illinois factory, according to the Chicago Tribune. The custom electric vehicles are going to be made exclusively for Amazon and will not be sold to any other customers.
The vans will share a number of elements with Rivian's truck and SUV lines, including battery, powertrain and electrical network. The van's body, design, application software and suspension will be custom made for Amazon.
Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast said:
“This has been in the works for some time. The idea that you can marry consumer applications to these more commercial applications ... is just really exciting.”
She continued, speaking about the vans:
“[The vans] are all developed specifically for Amazon’s last mile delivery operations, so that they fit seamlessly into Amazon’s existing logistics network.”
Rivian is targeting 10,000 electric vehicles on the road for Amazon by late 2022. It then hopes to ramp up to the full 100,000 order by 2030. The first of the new electric vans are expected to begin delivering orders in 2021.
The order is the latest milestone for Rivian, who announced a $350 million equity investment from Cox Automotive last week. This came after the 10 year old company closed on a $500 million investment from Ford in April of this year. Amazon led a $700 million investment round in the company several months prior, in February.
Our fleet is Electrifying! Thrilled to announce the order of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles – the largest order of electric delivery vehicles ever. Look out for the new vans starting in 2021. pic.twitter.com/y5qYpuy2WP— Dave Clark (@davehclark) September 19, 2019
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement: “If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon which delivers more than 10 billion items a year — can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can.”
Amazon is projecting reducing carbon emissions by 4 million metric tons per year by 2030, when the full fleet is scheduled to hit the road.
Rivian's flagship truck and SUV are slated to hit the road by late 2020. The company unveiled prototypes of the two models last year and says the high end model of its pickup, the R1T, will be able to go from 0 to 60 in about 3 seconds and travel 400 miles on a single charge.
Not bad, huh Elon?