Amazon rolls out new electric vans in Austin for holiday delivery season
Amazon CEO/occasional space traveler Jeff Bezos is doing his best to supplant a certain jolly fellow from the North Pole as tops for holiday gift delivery.
His latest move: Amazon is rolling out more than 1,000 electric delivery vehicles, designed by electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian, ready to make deliveries in more than 100 cities across the U.S. On the Texas good list: Houston, Austin, and Dallas. Bezos' juggernaut began deliveries in Dallas in July, along with Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis.
These zero-emissions vans have delivered more than 5 million packages to customers in the U.S., according to Amazon. The latest boost in vehicles now includes Houston and Austin, as well as Boston; Denver; Indianapolis; Las Vegas; Madison, Wisconsin; Newark, New Jersey; New York, Oakland, California; Pittsburgh, Portland, Oregon; Provo, Utah; and Salt Lake City.
Plans for the Amazon and Rivian partnership call for thousands of vehicles on the road by the end of the year and 100,000 vehicles by 2030.
“We’re always excited for the holiday season, but making deliveries to customers across the country with our new zero-emission vehicles for the first time makes this year unique,” said Udit Madan, vice president of Amazon Transportation, in a statement. “We’ve already delivered over 5 million packages with our vehicles produced by Rivian, and this is still just the beginning—that figure will grow exponentially as we continue to make progress toward our 100,000-vehicle goal.”
This all comes as part of Amazon's commitment to reaching net-zero carbon by 2040, as a part of its The Climate Pledge; Amazon promises to eliminate millions of metric tons of carbon per year with it s commitment to 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030, press materials note.
Additionally, Amazon announced plans to invest more than €1 billion over the next five years to further electrify and decarbonize its transportation network across Europe. This investment is meant to spark innovation and encourage more public charging infrastructure across the continent.
“Fleet electrification is essential to reaching the world’s zero-emissions goal,” said Jiten Behl, chief growth officer at Rivian, in a statement. “So, to see our ramp up in production supporting Amazon’s rollout in cities across the country is amazing. Not just for the environment, but also for our teams working hard to get tens of thousands of electric delivery vehicles on the road. They continue to be motivated by our combined mission and the great feedback about the vehicle’s performance and quality.”
A little about the vans: Drivers’ favorite features include a spacious cabin and cargo area, superior visibility with a large windshield and 360-degree cameras, and ventilated seats for fast heating and cooling — a must for Texas summers ... or winters, for that matter.