Amazon has revealed its first-ever customised electric delivery vehicle, which will take to the roads en masse from early 2022 as “the future of last-mile delivery”.
The technology giant announced a year ago that it was working with American EV start-up Rivian to develop vans to meet its needs and deploy 100,000 units of them, and it’s now taken the wraps off the vehicles as it highlights their benefits to other delivery vehicles.
As well as their eco credentials – which will support Amazon’s work on The Climate Pledge commitment to net zero carbon by 2040 – the vans have also been designed to enhance the driver experience and optimise safety.
“The vehicle we’ve developed with Amazon is not just electric. We prioritised safety and functionality to create a vehicle that’s optimised for package delivery,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian CEO. “We thought through how drivers get in and out of the van, what the work space feels like and what the work flow is for delivering packages.”
All-round visibility is a particular focus and the vans include leading-edge sensor detection, a suite of highway and traffic assist technology, and a large windshield to enhance driver visibility.
They’re also fitted with exterior cameras around the vehicle that are linked to a digital display inside the cabin, giving the driver a 360-degree view outside, while prominent tail-lights clearly display braking.
Technology includes Alexa integration for hands-free access to route information and the latest weather updates.
The vans also get a ‘dancefloor’ inside the driver’s cabin for easy movement inside the van and three levels of shelving with a bulkhead door, which can easily be opened and closed for additional driver protection while on the road.
Amazon plans to have 10,000 of the new electric vehicles on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030; a move that will save four million metric tons of carbon per year by this date.
Ross Rachey, director of Amazon’s global fleet and products, said: “We hope our custom electric vehicle helps create a sense of urgency in the industry to think big about embracing sustainable technology and solutions – whether you’re a package delivery company, a logistics company, an ice cream manufacturer, or almost anyone else with vehicles on the road.”