The future is officially here.
Rivian has begun production of its R1S SUV, but the first vehicles to actually make it to the road and be used for their intended purpose are the delivery vans that the EV startup has built for global retail giant Amazon. These innovative new delivery vehicles sound very odd (literally), but if you don't believe the noises coming from this video, you may soon get to hear them for yourself. This is because Amazon has officially begun delivering your orders with these electric vans, ushering in a new age of electric mobility and changing the way that commercial vehicles impact the environment.
These vans will be a common sight on our roads soon, since Amazon has ordered 100,000 of them. Series production of the vehicle will only start sometime next year, and we don't know exactly how many of the 100,000 units Amazon is already making use of, but at this point, it's probably just a handful. For now, the electrified deliveries have started in Los Angeles, but over the course of the year, an additional 15 cities will see the introduction of the new vehicles. Amazon has also begun developing its buildings to accommodate the new vehicles and provide charging stations for them, both in North America and Europe.
The electric vehicles are having a positive impact on Amazon's public image. Amazon's global fleet and products director, Ross Rachey, says: "We're loving the enthusiasm from customers so far - from the photos we see online to the car fans who stop our drivers for a first-hand look at the vehicle. From what we've seen, this is one of the fastest modern commercial electrification programs, and we're incredibly proud of that."
Seems like that $700 million funding round a couple of years that Amazon led was a great investment. We hope that the SUV and truck that Rivian are launching soon will be just as well received.