LOS ANGELES — One day after Amazon announced Jeff Bezos was stepping down as chief executive, the e-commerce behemoth said it’s started testing electric delivery vehicles in Los Angeles.
"We're loving the enthusiasm from customers so far — from the photos we see online to the car fans who stop our drivers for a first-hand look at the vehicle," said Amazon Global Fleet and Products Director Ross Rachey, in a blog post released Wednesday. "From what we've seen, this is one of the fastest modern commercial electrification programs, and we're incredibly proud of that."
Last year, Amazon said it would purchase 100,000 electric delivery vehicles as part of its climate pledge to achieve net-zero carbon across its operations by 2040. The Seattle-based company plans to roll out electric delivery vehicles in another 15 cities this year, with “tens of thousands of vehicles hitting the road over the next few years,” the company said.
Amazon began testing Rivian vehicles four months before it started making customer deliveries and is continuing to work with Rivian to test the vehicles’ performance, safety, and durability in various climates and geographies before production begins later this year.
"Rivian's purpose is to deliver products that the world didn't already have, to redefine expectations through the application of technology and innovation," said Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe in the blog post. "This milestone is one example of how Rivian and Amazon are working toward the world of 2040, and we hope it inspires other companies to fundamentally change the way that they operate."
Built in Plymouth, Mich., the delivery vans are exclusive to Amazon and can travel up to 150 miles per charge. Preparing its buildings for an electric future, Amazon said it has already installed thousands of EV charging stations at its delivery hubs in the U.S. and Europe.