CHICAGO (WMBD) — Amazon and Rivian on Thursday rolled out their final custom fleet of electric delivery vans (EDV) to loud music and cheers at Amazon’s last mile delivery hub in Chicago.
The new fleet of EDVs is a major step towards Amazon’s goal of reaching 100,000 Rivian EDVs by 2030, according to Amazon spokeswoman Natalie Banke.
Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said the unveiling of the custom fleet has been a project nearly three years in the making.
“It’s fun seeing these come to life and it’s really cool seeing them on the road… The drivers are so excited to get their hands on these,” he said.
The EDVs are equipped with a large windshield for better visibility, a driver’s seat and a steering wheel that cool and heat depending on the time of year, as well as an automated tablet that tells the driver where to next and which packages need to be delivered.
“The features I am most excited about are the heated seats because they’re not only heated for the wintertime they’re also air conditioning for the summer… so it’s a win-win… and the steering wheel is heated for winters as well,” said Darin Watkins, an Amazon delivery driver.
Mark Cuyler, director of vehicle engineering and delivery at Amazon, said the EDVs will bring electric vehicles into the mainstream with their increased visibility.
“Show the community that EV technology…can be used for everyday activities and really help change the way we think about EVs,” he said.
Cuyler said Amazon customers will likely see Rivian EDVs making stops in their neighborhood in the near future.
“Customers can expect a friendly vehicle in their neighborhood… It’s quiet, it’s green… The vans are going nationwide… greater and greater numbers of vans will be out everywhere,” he said.
Scaringe said the EDVs are paving the way to an electric and sustainable future.
“These vehicles represent what we see as the beginning of a major shift of all of our transportation from carbon-based fuel… to being electric, and having a pathway to being carbon neutral,” he said.
Banke said the EDVs have a 150-mile range on a single charge and are charged overnight at the Amazon hub in Chicago. She said that is more than enough for a day of deliveries.