Rivian's Amazon vans are now fully operational.
Amazon has started rolling out its jointly made delivery vans with Rivian, the Illinois-based producer of the popular R1T truck. The story started back in 2019 when Jeff Bezos announced Amazon had bought 100,000 zero-emissions delivery vehicles as part of the company's push to reach net-zero carbon emissions.
We've seen trial runs of deliveries before when Amazon previewed the vans in Los Angeles. Amazon is now expanding the list of cities the vans operate in as Rivian delivers more. As of late, Rivian has struggled with deliveries thanks to everything from factory fires to supplier favoritism.
Amazon's full list of cities now includes Seattle, St. Louis, San Diego, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, and Phoenix. Despite slow production on Rivian's behalf, which recently halved its production targets for the year, Amazon has said in its statement that it will have thousands more of the vans in more than 100 cities by the end of the year. The van, according to patent filings, is the "RCV," or Rivian Commercial Vehicle.
"Fighting the effects of climate change requires constant innovation and action, and Amazon is partnering with companies who share our passion for inventing new ways to minimize our impact on the environment," CEO Andy Jassy said in Amazon's press release.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said that "this type of collaboration is key to building the kind of future our kids deserve," on Twitter today. However, the road was not without its challenges, as we've illustrated here. In addition to semiconductor issues, Rivian had to go to court over the seat supplier when it hiked the price, something Rivian wasn't willing to absorb.
Moreover, testers of the van said that climate control functions would severely drain the range. That is a mild drain on larger, consumer-grade vehicles, but put a huge dent in the van's estimated 150-mile range. Thankfully, Amazon shows no signs of faltering in its relationship with Rivian.
Even after Ford reduced its stake in the company, Amazon stood by the small electric automaker. Without a doubt, Rivian has benefitted from that, delivering its first R1S SUVs this year. Rivian will post its second quarter financial results on August 11.