Retail giant Amazon has started rolling out its Rivian-developed Electric Delivery Van (EDV) in Europe, following a redevelopment process to adapt it for dense European cities.
The result is a van shorter and narrower-bodied than that which began operating in the US a year ago. Autocar has contacted a spokesperson for clarification on by exactly how much.
A host of driver-assistance technologies have been added to the EDV to mitigate its blindspots, including a collision-warning system, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.
For convenience, it features automatic door locks, plus a powered bulkhead that opens through to the load bay when the van reaches a delivery destination.
This function relies on a new software package that automatically provides access to the delivery route, navigation and driver support through the van, rather than relying on an external app.
The first 300 European EDVs will be deployed in Germany, operating from Amazon sites in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Munich, joining a fleet of 1000 existing electric vans from other brands in the country.
“We’re very excited about our future in the region,” said Dagan Mishoulam, vice-president of strategy and go-to-market for Rivian.
Rocco Bräuniger, country manager for Amazon Germany, added: “Last year, we delivered more than 45 million packages in Germany with electric vans and e-cargo bikes, and these new additions from Rivian will help us deliver packages more sustainably and to more customers.”
Amazon announced it had placed an order for 100,000 Rivian EDVs in September 2019, having led a $700 million (then £544m) investment round in the EV start-up the February prior.
Amazon's first Rivian vans were originally planned to hit the road in 2021 and grow to a fleet of 10,000 in 2022. This timeline was significantly disrupted by the Covid pandemic: the first US vans didn't enter service until July 2022 and the European roll-out is only just beginning.
Amazon plans to invest more than €1 billion (£860m) in its European transport infrastructure over the coming years, as part of its goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.