Amazon announced that it has started using electric delivery vehicles provided by EV company Rivian, as part of the internet and retail giant’s strategy to achieve net zero emissions across its operations by 2040.
The electric vehicles were entered into service on Thursday in cities including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis. Amazon and Rivian plan to have the custom EVs operating in more than 100 cities by the end of the year, and anticipate the U.S. fleet to reach 100,000 vehicles by 2030.
Amazon’s 2040 net zero goal forms part of the company’s commitment under the Climate Pledge, an initiative started by the company alongside climate change-focused organization Global Optimism, calling on companies to sign on to achieve net zero carbon across their businesses 10 years ahead of the Paris Accord’s 2050 target. Since founding the initiative in 2019, more than 300 companies have joined as signatories to the Pledge.
The order for 100,000 Rivian EVs was initially announced alongside the launch of the Climate Pledge in 2019, and the Rivian was one of the first investments made by the Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon’s venture investment program aimed at backing companies developing products and services that facilitate the transition to a zero carbon economy.
Amazon has invested over $1.3 billion in Rivian, and it’s stake is now worth more than $5 billion, although the value of its holdings in the company has declined from over $20 billion following Rivian’s November 2021 IPO.
Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon, said:
“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. Rivian has been an excellent partner in that mission, and we’re excited to see our first custom electric delivery vehicles on the road.”
The new vehicles were designed and engineered in collaboration with Amazon, and include advanced technology and sustainability features such as sensor detection, highway, and traffic assist technology, enhanced driver visibility, access to routing, navigation, and driver support, as well as driver experience and workflow-focused features including automatic door locking and unlocking as the driver approaches or leaves the vehicle, and a powered bulkhead door.
RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian, said:
“In 2019, Rivian and Amazon committed to fast-tracking a new type of delivery vehicle that would result in a significant reduction of carbon emissions. Thanks to our teams’ dedication, hard work and collaboration, and a shared commitment to make the world a better place for our kids’ kids, that vision is now being realized.