Amazon has announced that its custom delivery vans from Rivian have officially hit the road in over a dozen U.S cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Baltimore, Sandiego and Nashville, Tennessee. 

Back in 2019, Amazon made its largest EV order ever of 100,000 vehicles, and now they are planning to cash in on this investment. This week, the e-commerce giant has said that it plans to have all 100,000 vans on the road by 2030. It aims to roll out several thousand EVs in more than 100 U.S cities by the end of the year. 

Amazon is using the rollout as part of its step towards meeting its Climate pledge, which is a commitment to reaching net-zero across all operations by 2040. The initiative has garnered more than 320 signatories, including Hewlett-Packard, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble and Visa. 

“Fighting the effects of climate change requires constant innovation and action, and Amazon is partnering with companies who share our passion for inventing new ways to minimize our impact on the environment. Rivian has been an excellent partner in that mission, and we’re excited to see our first custom electric delivery vehicles on the road,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon. 

Amazon has been testing deliveries with preproduction Rivian vehicles since 2021. Rivian secured certifications from the National Highway Traffic Administration, the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that allowed it to test its vans in different climates and geographies. 

During thr testing phase, the EV’s delivered more than 430,000 packages and traveled over 90,000 miles. The testing was to ensure that key features on the vehicle were up to date. These include sensors, traffic assist technology, automatic emergency braking and collision warning designed to maximise safety.  

Amazon has said that they will be adding thousands of charging stations to its delivery hubs around the country. It also partnered with nonprofit Ceres and several other fleet owners to form the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, a group that aims to accelerate the transition to EVs. 

“To say this is an exciting moment is an understatement — we’re thrilled to see this partnership has kick-started decarbonization projects across the logistics delivery industry,” said RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian. 

There have been some doubts, however, as to whether Rivian is able to hold up the end of their deal. So far, Rivian has delivered a few hundred EVs to Amazon, with the expectation that thousands will be delivered by the end of the year.