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Rivian's electric delivery vans could soon be available to companies other than Amazon

The company is reportedly seeking to end an exclusivity agreement with its customer and investor.

Driver David Gonzalez walks back to his truck after delivery in an Amazon Rivian Electric truck in Poway, California, U.S., November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Sandy Huffaker
REUTERS/Sandy Huffaker
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|March 13, 2023 12:49 PM

Rivian's electric delivery van might not be Amazon-exclusive for much longer. The Wall Street Journal sources claim Rivian is in talks with Amazon to end the exclusivity portion of their 2019 purchase agreement. The EV maker is reportedly unhappy that Amazon ordered 10,000 vans this year, at the low end of a previously mentioned range. The termination would let Rivian boost its sales by courting other customers.

The exact terms of the proposed changes aren't available. The talks are continuing, the sources say.

We've asked Rivian for comment. An Amazon spokesperson tells Engadget Rivian is still an "important partner" and that it still expects to buy 100,000 vans by 2030. The deal hasn't changed, the company adds. At the same time, the representative says Amazon wants "others to benefit" from Rivian technology, as having more electric delivery vehicles in service ultimately helps everyone.

The Amazon pact remains important for Rivian's finances. The vans currently represent one third of Rivian's production volume, and are helping to bolster manufacturing numbers that are still tiny compared to rivals like Tesla. Rivian only made 24,337 vehicles in 2022. Larger van orders would significantly expand the company's output and provide greater financial stability while the firm ramps up sales of its R1S SUV and R1T pickup, and works on its more affordable R2 line.

Rivian still has a large cash reserve thanks in part to Amazon's large investment in the EV startup. However, it's still struggling to reach profitability and has engaged in two rounds of layoffs over the past year to address a tough economy, rising costs and shrinking access to funds. There's pressure on the company to avoid future cutbacks, and improved sales will help on that front.

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Rivian's electric delivery vans could soon be available to companies other than Amazon