Now we know how Amazon is spending its tax savings.
Having been on the receiving end of much American ire by paying zero federal income taxes this year, it seems Amazon is trying to balance that out by stepping up its efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, has announced that the company is purchasing 100,000 electric trucks from Rivian.
That's not a typo, Amazon is buying 100,000 trucks from the Michigan based electric vehicle company that hasn't actually sold one of its trucks or SUVs yet. However, Rivian points out that this is the largest electric vehicle delivery order to date, and that they'd start deploying the trucks for Amazon to start using in 2021. By 2022, Amazon and Rivian say 10,000 of the electric trucks will be on the road.
This is our first real look at the delivery truck and its hard to describe the little round headlights and its face as anything but adorable and reminiscent of Honda's new EV. But a lot bigger.
Rivian's delivery trucks will be built at the manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois, which was formerly operated by Mitsubishi Motors. Rivian is not sharing details about the inner workings of the truck, other than the fact it shares components with the R1T pickup and R1S SUV models the company is planning to go on sale in 2020. There's also no word on the charging infrastructure that will be needed to power the enormous fleet of electric trucks.
The real headline here is that Rivian is beating everyone, including Tesla and its big ideas, to the punch. Rivian has a consumer line of vehicles on the way, but over the past ten years has been quietly getting its ducks in a row while it develops the technology it needs to cover all the bases. CEO, Robert "RJ" Scaringe, is an MIT graduate with a doctorate in mechanical engineering. In 2015, a large investment was made into Rivian, and the company promptly opened research centers in Michigan and the Bay Area and focused on developing an ecosystem of related products. And while Tesla has been messing around with the Model S at the Nurburgring out of hubris, Rivian has been finalizing an immense and landmark deal for its electric vehicles.