Leaked details are always fun.
The Rivian R1T has finally arrived and its R1S SUV counterpart is coming soon. Both are in prime positions to change the rules of the all-electric vehicle game just as major OEMs, such as Ford, launch their own EV trucks. Ironically enough, the R1T and R1S aren't the young carmaker's biggest priorities. That honor belongs to the EV delivery vans being developed specifically for Amazon. By the end of 2022, Rivian's contract with the e-commerce giant calls for 10,000 vans on the road.
By the decade's end, that figure climbs to 100,000 units. Needless to say, those vans are truly Rivian's biggest priority, especially since the company continues to lose money ahead of its expected IPO. But what will those vans be called?
Newly leaked information courtesy of the Rivian Owners Forum answers that question. Now, this is in contrast to an earlier report from the same source claiming the van will be called "RCV," or Rivian Commercial Vehicle. That's incorrect. Instead, the vans will be named the 700 Van and 500 Van, according to a VIN document filed with the NHTSA. The latter van will be built in both left- and right-hand drive configurations.
The numerical naming scheme is very appropriate because it signifies cargo capacity. A 900 cubic foot variant is also in the works. The vans' trims indicate there are two, S for Service and Z for Amazon.
The former name leads us to believe Rivian will sell that van/trim to fleet buyers in general, not necessarily Amazon. Additional VIN information shows three van drivetrain options: 2x single-motor AWD, dual-motor FWD, and single-motor FWD. Assuming all goes to plan, this Rivian-Amazon project would place the two further ahead than others in the about to explode van delivery segment.
As consumers continue to shift their everyday purchases online instead of physically going to stores, emissions-free vans will be required. Amazon intends to be the global leader for this service, aiming to outpace not just OEMs but also the likes of UPS and FedEx. Whether Rivian will be allowed to sell those global delivery companies vans remains unknown. That's likely up to Amazon.