We weren't expecting Rivian's new Amazon delivery van to sound like this.
As well as building the upcoming R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV that will take on Tesla this summer, Rivian wants to revolutionize the commercial delivery market. As part of a massive $700 million deal, Amazon has ordered 100,000 delivery vans from the US startup company, which will hit the streets by 2030. 10,000 will be deployed by 2022, but the first units are expected to arrive much sooner than that this year.
Amazon has officially teased Rivian's new delivery van. Since then, a camouflaged prototype was recently spied on the streets of California. This time, the delivery van has been caught on camera by Drive Tesla Canada making a delivery in Los Angeles, allowing us to hear what it sounds like for the first time - and it's a lot louder than we imagined.
Throughout the video, the delivery van plays an excruciatingly loud humming noise that sounds like it was taken from a stock sound effect library for a science fiction film. You could also mistake it for the PlayStation 5's home menu music (we've included a video for comparison).
Granted, it's an effective warning system for pedestrians who will be able to hear it from miles away, but it sounds ridiculous. We also imagine it would sound very grating for the driver tolerating it for hours. This is still a test vehicle, however, so Rivian still has time to finetune the sound effect to make it more aurally pleasing. Jeffrey Chen, who recorded the video, described it as like a "loud V6 engine running" and could hear it from inside his home.
Rivian's delivery vans will be available in three sizes. This one looks larger than the variant we saw last month and appears to be designed for shorter journeys on residential streets. Unlike the last prototype, it also has no camouflage and the Amazon Prime logo can clearly be seen on the side.
Chen believes the van was front-wheel drive. Range details are still unknown, but a Rivian engineer accompanying the van told Chen "it has enough." An Amazon manager driving the van said that it's being designed to offer enough range to cover an average delivery route and keep costs down and that he finds it easier to access than the current Mercedes-Benz Sprinter delivery van used by the company.