Rivian’s Fork on Amazon’s Route
The future of delivery trucks should be electric. The USPS is finally going to head in this direction. Amazon has been part of this change too. Their 2019 deal with Rivian created an electric delivery van that looks amazing and is great for the environment. But in typical Amazon style, they're barely living up to their end of the agreement. And as such, Rivian wants out. Emma Roth at The Verge has more.
...with Amazon reportedly only meeting the bare minimum of ordering 10,000 vehicles this year, the two are renegotiating. In 2021, The Verge reported that the terms of the original deal gave Amazon exclusive rights to the electric delivery vans for four years after Rivian provided the first batch of vehicles, which Rivian started delivering last year. However, the fine print states that Rivian could cut the exclusivity deal short if Amazon doesn’t purchase 10,000 of its vehicles in each of the first two years that Rivian starts producing them. Rivian spokesperson Marina Norville says “the details regarding exclusivity in the 2021 article are inaccurate,” but declined to provide any further insight on what is incorrect.
While Amazon claims its deal with Rivian remains intact, let's keep in mind its been more cautious with its spending in recent years. Like the rest of the tech industry, Amazon had laid off thousands and reported its first net loss since 2014. If Amazon is not ordering enough vans and placing Rivian in a difficult position, it makes perfect sense to try to get out of an exclusivity agreement.
We'll have to see what will happen with Rivian and Amazon’s agreement, but it’s clear that Rivian wants to push EVs forward. You would think UPS and FedEx will likely begin EV adoption sometime soon. When that does, the demand for electric delivery vehicles is likely to grow at a huge rate. Whether Rivian’s delivery vans end up on Amazon’s roads or those of other businesses, their impact on the environment could be significant.
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