Currently reading: Amazon unveils Rivian-built electric delivery van
Internet giant says first bespoke EV will raise the bar for logistics vehicles when deliveries begin in 2021

Amazon has revealed its first electric van, developed by EV start-up Rivian, which it claims "raises the bar for next-generation delivery" vehicles.

The internet giant last year agreed a deal with Rivian for the Californian EV firm to supply 100,000 electric delivery vans by 2030. The first machine has now been delivered to Amazon and will go into service next year, with the goal of 10,000 to be operational by 2022.

Amazon said the van is one of three different models the firm has invested in. Ross Rachey, Amazon's global fleet boss, said: "We know that it needed to far surpass any other delivery vehicle. We wanted drivers to love using it."

Rivian boss RJ Scaringe added: "We prioritised safety and functionality to create a vehicle that's optimised for package delivery."

The delivery van includes a number of driver assistance features, such as 360deg exterior cameras and sensors, and a "suite of highway and traffic assist technology".

The infotainment system is integrated with Amazon's Alexa assistance for hands-free operation. The interior features two large display screens, with a digital info screen accompanied by a larger infotainment system tilted towards the driver. The official images show that the van will have minimal switchgear inside, with the only physical controls seen on the steering wheel.

The machine is also designed for functionality. The rear luggage compartment has three levels of shelving accessed from the front cabin via a bulkhead door. The cabin has been designed to feature a large 'dance floor' to enable easier movement for the driver.

Technical details of the vans, including range and performance figures, have not been disclosed, although they are intended for 'last-mile' deliveries in urban areas.

Rachey said Amazon is also working on technology such as charging infrastructure to support the adoption of the electric vans. He added that he hopes Amazon's van will "create a sense of urgency in the industry" to look at adopting sustainable transport solutions.

Although the Rivian-built vans are likely to be used in the US initially, Amazon has bought 1800 electric delivery vehicles for its European fleet this year and has started to use electric bikes for deliveries in certain European cities. It has also reached a separate deal to add 10,000 electric machines to its fleet in India by 2025. 

Amazon previously invested £350 million in Rivian, as part of a £544 million funding round for the Californian firm.

Amazon isn't the only firm investing in developing its own electric delivery vehicles. Earlier this year, logistics giant UPS ordered 10,000 electric delivery vans from British EV start-up Arrival.


Amazon orders 100,000 electric vans from Rivian

Opinion: will Amazon's electric van order disrupt the industry? (From 2019)

Amazon invests heavily in electric start-up Rivian

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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russ13b 11 October 2020

Slight issue

Has anyone on the design/engineering team actually tried to use the van for the intended purpose? That's going to have a turning circle somewhat akin to an aircraft carrier, which, i can assure you from personal experience, is genuinely infuriating. 

gavsmit 11 October 2020

Can't help but think EVs have a sinister side

Just like oil, EVs, or the materials used for the batteries for them, will create their own empires of huge wealth and global influence.

It's a shame we can't perfect some other form of energy generation or storage that doesn't rely on mining the hell out of the Earth for the finanicial benefit of shady organisations or states.

Just Saying 10 October 2020

We haven't come THAT far...

Mervyn Morris designed an electric vehicle, and the first milk float was sold to Roddington Dairy in early 1951. A request from United Dairies saw the production of a 3-wheeled chain driven vehicle, which was an immediate success. ... In 1934 they produced their first electric van, suitable for a payload of 5-6 cwt.