Amazon said Monday it continues the rollout of the electric delivery vans made by Rivian, now counting over 1,000 of the vehicles in more than 100 U.S. cities. That’s up from the more than a dozen cities the official rollout launched with in July.
The delivery vans had been piloted by select drivers since 2021 to test their performance and refine the operating system installed in the vehicles, called FleetOS.
Amazon said the expanded electric vehicle delivery service now includes cities such as Las Vegas, New York, Austin, Boston, Denver and Houston among others.
The Rivian-made electric vans have so far delivered more than 5 million packages, according to Amazon Transportation vice president Udit Madan. The executive called the expanded reach “just the beginning.”
“Fleet electrification is essential to reaching the world’s zero-emissions goal,” Rivian chief growth officer Jiten Behl said in a statement. “So to see our ramp up in production supporting Amazon’s rollout in cities across the country is amazing.”
Amazon, which holds about an 18 percent stake in the vehicle maker, was an early investor in Rivian prior to the company going public.
Its delivery van order is also the first commercial deal signed by Rivian. A memorandum of understanding to jointly produce electric vans with Mercedes-Benz was inked more recently in September. The automotive company also makes consumer vehicles, with its R1T truck and R1S sport utility vehicle.
The Amazon order includes 100,000 vans, which would help the e-commerce company in its pursuit to being net-zero carbon by 2040.
Those efforts aren’t limited to the U.S.
Amazon said last month it would pump over 1 billion euros, roughly equivalent in dollars, into electrification and decarbonization efforts around its European transportation network. The investment will see a boost in electric delivery vans, e-bikes and delivery on foot with the help of what it calls “micro-mobility” delivery stations located closer to end consumers.
Amazon’s work with Rivian represents electrification in the last mile. However, Rivian’s ambitions to electrify logistics more broadly was made clearer in August at the time of the company’s second-quarter results.
Rivian said it has fielded inquiries from users of larger fleets, which CEO RJ Scaringe said the company does have the ability to eventually accommodate.
“While production lines are ramping and we are delivering as many vehicles as we can to Amazon, we have started those sort of long-cycle discussions with some of the very large fleets,” Scaringe told analysts during the company’s second-quarter earnings call. “And they are certainly making sure that as these larger fleets beyond the last mile… as they start to plan their path to being fully electrified, that we are supporting that planning, but also of course, embedding ourselves into that planning.”
Rivian, like many vehicle makers, has had a tough go the past few years with supply chain issues creating parts shortages.
Layoffs, which reportedly amounted to about 6 percent of the workforce, hit the business in July. Scaringe informed staff in a letter ahead of those cuts of changes at the company as it works to focus on “prioritizing certain programs (and stopping some), halting certain non-manufacturing hiring and adopting major cost down efforts to reduce material spend and operating expenses,” according to an internal memo the company provided to Sourcing Journal at the time of the layoffs.
Those priorities, as outlined in Scaringe’s letter, include expanded production of Rivian’s truck and sport utility vehicle models, built on what the company calls its R1 platform, along with the electric delivery vans. Scaringe also said Rivian would focus on the buildout of its vehicle charging infrastructure and “optimizing costs and operating expenses across the business.”
The company, started in 2009, raised $10.5 billion prior to going public, amassing an investor roster that included Amazon, Ford Motor Company, Cox Automotive, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., BlackRock-managed funds, Coatue and Fidelity among others.
Rivian debuted on the Nasdaq last November in one of the country’s largest initial public offerings, with an opening price of $78 a share. It raised nearly $12 billion in its IPO and was valued at $100 billion.
Since then, the company’s stock has fallen and, as of Monday, was priced at $31.10 with a market cap of $27.4 billion.
Rivian is expected to report its third-quarter results Wednesday.