Amazon on Thursday revealed the Rivian electric delivery van it plans to start using in 2021.
The e-commerce and logistics giant announced last year that it had ordered 100,000 electric vans from electric-truck hopeful Rivian. Amazon, which is also a Rivian investor, plans to have 10,000 of these vans in service by 2022, and all 100,000 on the road by 2030.
Based on early photos, it appears that the design of the van has changed somewhat since it was first announced. The design is unique to Amazon, and vans will carry that company's logo rather than the Rivian logo.
The headlights, however, seem to signal some continuity with Rivian's R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV. The launch of both vehicles has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the R1T scheduled to start deliveries in June 2021, followed by the R1S in August 2021. That's a delay of approximately six months from when they were originally due.
Amazon electric delivery van designed by Rivian
Rivian has teased the pre-production ramp-up of the R1T, but little has been revealed about a production ramp for the vans, which will be made at the same facility: a former Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois.
Neither Rivian nor Amazon have said that the vans will be closely related to the pickup and SUV—and it would make sense that their capability need not be as great—but we await more about their mechanical details.
It's possible that the van will utilize a version of the "skateboard" platform from the R1T and R1S, likely with a longer wheelbase. Rivian has said the largest battery pack compatible with the skateboard will offer up to 400 miles of range in the pickup and SUV.
Amazon also plans to buy electric vans from other manufacturers. In August, it announced the purchase of 1,800 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter and eVito vans. It also recently announced plans to use larger trucks from Canada's Lion Electric.