Amazon’s new electrical supply vans will hit the street in additional than a dozen cities beginning this 12 months, the corporate introduced Wednesday. The vans, that are being designed and constructed by buzzy EV startup Rivian, are already making deliveries to clients in Los Angeles. Amazon plans to develop its testing to fifteen extra cities this 12 months, because it continues to construct towards a fleet of 100,000 vehicles by 2022. The businesses didn’t identify which cities they might select.
In a brief video printed right now, Amazon touts the truth that the vans had been designed, constructed, and at the moment are being examined inside a 12 months. “We’re loving the keenness from clients to date—from the images we see on-line to the automobile followers who cease our drivers for a first-hand have a look at the car,” stated Ross Rachey, director of Amazon’s International Fleet and Merchandise, said in a statement. “From what we’ve seen, this is likely one of the quickest trendy industrial electrification applications, and we’re extremely happy with that.”
Rivian is a comparatively new identify within the electrical car trade, having solely debuted its pickup truck and SUV on the finish of November 2018 — regardless of working in stealth since 2009. Initially based to make one thing that competed with Tesla’s first automobile, the Roadster, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe ultimately pivoted the company toward a more action-adventure customer segment of SUVs and pickup vans.
Since popping out of stealth, Rivian has hauled in a sequence of huge investments from a number of main gamers. Amazon led a $700 million spherical in February 2019, adopted by $500 million from Ford in April 2019. Most lately, Rivian landed $2.65 billion from T. Rowe Worth and Amazon’s Local weather Pledge Fund. (Jeff Bezos lately introduced he could be stepping down as CEO to commit extra consideration to the initiative.)
Rivian has proven off two automobiles to date: the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV. Constructed on the identical structure because the supply van, Rivian claims its automobiles — which is able to begin at round $70,000 — will have the ability to journey as much as round 400 miles on a single cost, hit 60 miles per hour in underneath three seconds, and ultimately have the ability to drive themselves in some capability.
It’s humorous that Amazon’s Rachey mentions the images of the supply van posted on-line. Curious passers-by have additionally captured the shall-we-say distinctive exterior sound that emanates from the van whereas parked or touring at low speeds. Electrical automobiles could be notably silent when in comparison with their inner combustion engine-having counterparts, so regulators require them to produce an artificial sound when touring at low speeds to alert pedestrians and different street customers that will not in any other case hear the approaching car.
Primarily based on the spacey, sci-fi-ish sound that has been chosen, it might appear that Rivian was going for one thing that would greatest be described as “chill/lo-fi beats to chill out/research to playlist.” According to The Drive citing a put up from Drive Tesla Canada, the Rivian vans’ synthetic sound is so loud, it may be heard from inside somebody’s home.
It’s not clear whether or not this would be the closing sound used for all of Amazon’s supply fleet. In different phrases, there’s nonetheless time to alter it. Please change it.