As part of their plan to convert their entire delivery fleet to 100% renewable energy by 2030, Amazon announced last year it was purchasing 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian.
A prototype of the van was later unveiled in October. Amazon released the first images and video of the delivery van showing the reactions of employees as they saw the vehicle for the first time.
At the time the company said they plan to have the first units built and “hitting the road in 2021.” They appear to have now started testing the vans as one was recently seen dropping off packages in Los Angeles.
Amazon/Rivian Delivery Van
Spotted by Jeffrey Chen, the Amazon/Rivian delivery van was being driven by a manager from Amazon. Accompanying him was a Rivian engineer.
Not many technical specifications of the van have been released. Chen tells Drive Tesla this van was front wheel drive. When asked about the range, the Rivian engineer simply answered “it has enough.” The manager added that in order to keep costs down they only want to have enough range to complete a typical delivery route.
The manager also commented the design of the van made it easier to get in and out of compared to the Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans the company currently uses.
Pedestrian Warning System
Perhaps what was most surprising was the sound coming from the electric delivery van. Like most EVs today, it comes equipped with a “pedestrian warning system” (PWS). An external speaker plays a sound at low-speeds to alert nearby pedestrians who might otherwise not hear the silent EV.
As you can tell from the video, the Amazon Rivian delivery van has quite a loud PWS. Chen tells us it was like a loud V6 engine running, and he was actually able to hear it from inside his home.
Rivian is also currently working on releasing their first consumer vehicles. The R1T electric pickup truck is expected to begin deliveries in June 2021. The R1S electric SUV is expected to launch in August 2021.
You can check out the full video below.