Amazon shows off its new Rivian-built electric delivery van

We’ve known for a hot minute that Rivian and Amazon were working together to create a purpose-built electric delivery van. We’ve seen renderings and even clay models. Now, we’re seeing the real thing (probably).

Amazon released a video on Thursday that showed off what is probably at least a productionlike version of its planned delivery vehicle and made sure that it was packed chockablock with fake Philip Glass music and excited delivery people. Despite all that, we’re pretty stoked about what we’re seeing.

As you might expect from a delivery van, the Rivian/Amazon unit is a big box on wheels. It’s got a cheerful-looking face and lots of forward visibility. The interior cargo area is tall and looks like it has a nice, low load floor. Basically, from an aesthetic standpoint, this thing looks like the result of a wine cooler-fueled night of passion between a FedEx truck and a Sprinter van, but electric.

Rivian is working on packing this thing with safety tech too, which is nice to see in a commercial vehicle. Specifically, it’s added tons of sensors for modern advanced driver assistance systems and a 360-degree-capable camera setup. It also strengthened the driver’s door for better impact protection and added a bulkhead door to keep packages from clobbering the driver in the event of an accident.

This electric vehicle represents a big part of Amazon’s push to become carbon-neutral by 2040, which is cool. The company also operates electric cargo bikes in some dense urban areas and has been seen testing electric delivery robots too.

The vans are slated to hit the road in 2021, and frankly, we’re hoping they’ll let us test-drive one.


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