Amazon has begun rolling out its custom electric delivery vans from Rivian in Europe, the e-commerce giant said Monday. This will be Rivian’s first commercial shipment of vans outside the United States.
The first tranche of 300 vans will be seen on streets in Munich, Berlin and Dusseldorf in the coming weeks. Amazon already has a fleet of thousands of electric vans operating in Europe, including more than 1,000 e-vans in Germany, the company said. Amazon last year invested more than €1 billion to electrify its European transportation network.
“Amazon is committed to reaching net-zero carbon by 2040, and reducing our delivery-related emissions is a critical part of this goal,” said Rocco Bräuniger, country manager for Amazon, in a statement. “Last year we delivered more than 45 million packages in Germany with electric vans and e-cargo bikes, and these new additions from Rivian will help us deliver packages more sustainably and to more customers.”
Amazon started deploying Rivian’s vans in the U.S. last summer and says it has over 3,000 Rivians delivering packages across over 500 markets already. The company has ordered 100,000 vans from Rivian, which it hopes to see fulfilled by 2030.
Amazon said it began testing deliveries with Rivian pre-production vehicles in Europe last year. Rivian used the feedback from those tests to add upgrades to the vehicle’s performance, safety, comfort, functionality and durability. The Rivian delivery vans in Europe are specially designed to be a shorter, thinner van than its U.S. counterparts to fit better on European roads.
Amazon touted some of the custom vans’ features in a statement. The vans have a large windshield to give the driver greater visibility and standard advanced driver assistance systems that feature automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and collision warnings. They are also embedded with technology that can integrate the delivery workflow with the vehicle, including routing, navigation and driver support. The driver’s cabin and cargo area are ergonomically designed for comfort, and the driver’s side door has been strengthened to provide additional protection.
Rivian’s first delivery in Europe comes several months after the EV startup and Mercedes-Benz paused their plans to jointly produce electric commercial vans there. At the time, Rivian said it needed to focus on its consumer vehicle business — selling the R1T truck and R1S SUV — and its existing commercial business with Amazon.
In March, Rivian reportedly began discussions with Amazon to remove its exclusivity clause with the retailer so it could pursue other commercial customers. The automaker did not reply in time to TechCrunch to share updates.
Source: Tech Crunch