The days are long gone when Amazon shoppers could place an order and expect to see a UPS, FedEx, or U.S. Postal Service vehicle roll up a few days later. Over the years, Amazon has broadened its delivery base beyond the traditional package carriers, adding players like local couriers and part-time citizen drivers. The landscape shifted even further in the past year when the giant e-tailer began building its own contract delivery-fleet network and FedEx severed its relationship with Amazon.
Now, the Amazon delivery experience is set to undergo another shift—this time on the equipment side. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant announced in September that it had ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Plymouth, Michigan-based car-maker Rivian. Amazon says the Rivian vans will begin delivering packages in 2021. The company plans to have 10,000 of the battery-powered vehicles on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 on the road by 2030.
The initiative is part of Amazon's commitment to meet the Paris Agreement climate goals 10 years early. The company has set a target of running entirely on renewable energy by 2030 and operating with net zero carbon emissions by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Accord's 2050 deadline. Amazon says the move to electric vehicles will save 4 million metric tons of carbon per year by 2030.
The move also supports Amazon's own $440 million investment in Rivian by handing the manufacturer what Amazon called "the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles."