Earlier this year, Amazon invested $700 million in Michigan’s electric car startup Rivian, but now the company has built on that with an order for 100,000 vans to hit the roads by 2024, which is a lot of vans.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company ordered 100,000 vans from the electric car maker, with the first deliveries starting in 2021 and possibly prototypes hitting the roads as early as next year, as tweeted out by Nathan Bomey, a reporter for USA Today, and also reported by CNBC.
The announcement came as part of Bezos’ planned remarks on Amazon’s strategy for combating climate change ahead of this week’s Climate Strike scheduled for Friday. Here’s more on Bezos’ statements concerning climate change from CNBC:
Bezos said Amazon has committed to meet the goals of the United Nations Paris Agreement 10 years early, which will involve regularly measuring and reporting the company’s emissions, implementing decarbonization strategies and altering its business strategies to eventually eliminate carbon usage altogether. He added that his goal is for 80% of Amazon’s energy use to be renewable by 2024, before transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
This is a big order for a company that hasn’t actually produced any cars yet and has only shown concept versions of an electric pickup truck and electric crossover claimed to be capable of up to 400 miles of range, with a charging capability claimed to be capable of soaking up enough electrons in an hour to return to an 80 percent state of charge.
For a company that deals with a lot of shipment and delivery, that doesn’t sound like such a bad shake. The vans, assuming they will indeed be fully electric, would likely be based on the same “skateboard” battery and drivetrain platform as Rivian’s pickup truck and crossover.
Rivian has been a hot topic this year, with a lot of traditional automaker interest earlier ultimately resulting in Amazon and Ford investing heaps of cash into the company. The Amazon investment is a little clearer now.
Jalopnik reached out to Rivian for confirmation and will update as more information becomes available.