Fleets, like the 100,000 delivery vans the retailer ordered from startup Rivian, will make electrics seem more commonplace, and easier to charge.
Let’s put Amazon’s order for 100,000 electric delivery vans by 2030 into perspective. Today, FedEx uses 85,000 “motorized vehicles” to deliver packages around the world. UPS has around 123,000 package cars, vans, tractors, and motorcycles, including about 10,000 the company says use “alternative fuel and advanced technology.” One hundred thousand delivery vans? That’s a lot.
For proponents of electric vehicles, it’s a big opportunity—and not just for Rivian, the decade-old startup in which Amazon has invested, and from which it will buy the vans. Rivian, which has not yet put a vehicle into production, has a busy few years ahead of it.
More significantly, though, the deal suggests that fleets—delivery fleets, truck fleets, taxi fleets, ride-hail fleets—may be the key, or a least a key, to transportation’s electric future. That’s especially true in a country where just 2 percent of today’s auto sales end with someone driving a plug-in electric car off the lot…