You no longer need to live in Los Angeles to see Amazon's electric delivery vans roaming the streets. Amazon is now using the custom Rivian-made EVs to deliver packages in San Francisco, the second city to make the leap. The vans will initially run test routes out of a delivery station in Richmond (north of San Francisco proper) and expand to other parts of the Bay Area over time.
The unique design is built on Rivian's "skateboard" platform and offers a 150-mile range in its current trim, although the two companies plan different motor and battery configurations to accommodate different environments. They also include 360-degree cameras to help with safety and even Alexa voice control.
Amazon plans to operate the electric vans in 16 cities by the end of 2021. The internet giant ordered 100,000 EVs to help meet emissions reduction goals, although it doesn't expect all of them to enter service until 2030 — 'just' 10,000 should hit the road by 2022. It's a start, though, and it makes sense to deploy the vans in an EV-friendly area like the San Francisco Bay. The challenge, of course, is providing truly widespread coverage. Densely packed cities are relatively easy, but the current range could limit Amazon's ability to serve rural customers.