Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the company plans to purchase 100,000 electric-powered vans from Detroit startup Rivian Automotive, as it seeks to accomplish two goals in one stroke: Decreasing its carbon footprint and increasing its delivery capabilities.
Amazon led a $700 million funding round in Rivian in February of this year. Rivian earlier this month announced a $350 million investment from Cox Automotive, while Ford invested $500 million in April. Bezos said the move was part of the company goal of becoming 100% carbon neutral by 2040, 10 years ahead of the deadline set by the Paris accords.
Bezos said all 100,000 Rivian vans should be on the road by 2024, according to USA Today, with the first in service by 2021 and prototypes possibly showing up next year. Before now, Rivian had been focused on developing pickups and SUVs, according to The Verge, after pivoting away from a challenge to Tesla’s electric cars last year.
This is on top of Amazon’s ongoing expansion of its air cargo fleet and an under-construction air hub outside Cincinnati, as well as leasing 20,000 Sprinter vans from Mercedes for use by delivery contractors and various other moves logistics and delivery moves. It also comes after FedEx ended its ground and air contracts with Amazon this summer, leaving the ecommerce giant to make up the slack.