100.000 Amazon-branded electric vans will cut millions of tons of carbon annually. Latest from the construction site.
The industrial complex in Michigan looks nothing like it did decades ago when it was built. Today, sun-soaked white walls surround a design studio. The light illuminates a large room that looks more like an artistic laboratory than a factory. Protagonist of exception: the new Amazon electric vehicle currently under construction.
It's the next generation of Amazon proprietary vans: electric vehicles that will arrive on the roads starting in 2021.
We are trying to build the most sustainable transport fleet in the world.Ross Rachey, director of Amazon's fleet and global products
Amazon has ordered 100.000 electric vehicles for delivery (the largest electric vehicle order ever) from Rivian, an emission-free electric vehicle manufacturer with a vehicle development center in Plymouth, just outside Detroit.
The order is part of The Climate Pledge , Amazon's commitment to comply with the Paris Agreement 10 years in advance. And it is fully part of the key factors that could destroy the fossil fuel industry already in this decade. The commitment also invites signatories to carbon-free their businesses by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement's 2050 target.
"We are trying to build the most sustainable transport fleet in the world", said Ross Rachey, Amazon's Director of Fleet and Global Products. "It must also be the most functional, the most performing, the safest."
Amazon's transportation team spent 18 months evaluating a variety of electric vehicle options to reduce its carbon footprint. To move quickly, Rachey's team realized that the best way forward was to do it yourself by creating an entirely new electric vehicle, customized to meet Amazon's needs now and in the future.
The Amazon electric vehicle: tailor-made
The vehicles will reduce carbon emissions, raise the level of driver safety and optimize technology and design elements to create the best driving experience. They will be produced in three size variants and will support different sized batteries so they can be optimized for specific delivery routes.
“We are focused on driving efficiency in every aspect of the vehicle design. Everything, from the heating of the cabin to the ergonomics of the driver to the design of the transmission, has been optimized in terms of time and energy ". It says so Rj scaringe, CEO of Rivian. “The effect will be disruptive. Other logistics operators will also look at the environmental efficiency of their fleet. Amazon's choice will have a very big impact. "
"We created The Climate Pledge and are investing in 100.000 Rivian electric vans to demonstrate that there is a large and growing market for green technologies"Said Dave clark, Amazon's senior vice president of global operations. “It is important that large companies like Amazon stimulate investment in developing low-carbon products and services. They will be needed to help companies of all sizes decarbonise their operations and sustain a thriving low-carbon economy. ”
Design boards with countless iterations of the Amazon vehicle surround the Rivian studio, where clay sculptors smooth the edges of a life-size clay model that provides a physical representation of what the vehicle will look like for production. In another room, drivers enter a virtual reality environment that simulates the driver's experience in new vehicles.
Each vehicle is designed to include a suite of advanced safety technology and industry leading features. There are automated emergency braking, four-wheel drive options, lane assist, a system that detects distracted driver behavior and other devilry.
The design incorporates Amazon's technology to provide drivers with an optimal delivery experience. A digital instrument cluster and central screen will be integrated with Amazon's fulfillment management, along with technology routing and package delivery systems to allow drivers to focus on vehicle operation. The system eliminates the need for additional devices providing addressing and mapping information. Integration with Amazon Alexa will allow drivers to call for help or use simple voice commands in the cargo area when sorting packages without having to manually enter commands or consult portable devices.