Amazon Prime shipping is quickly taking over the world. While packages sometimes come through regular mail or through UPS, Amazon added its own fleet of vehicles to help ease the strain on other shipping services.
You have probably seen the blue Amazon vans zipping up and down your street at some point, but there’s about to be a new van on the block. Check out what we know about the new 2022 Rivian Amazon prime delivery vans from MotorTrend.
Who is Rivian and why is Amazon using these particular vans?
Rivian is an American automotive technology company that focuses on sustainability. Started in 2009, Rivian’s schtick is about exploring the world in a responsible manner through all-electric trucks and SUVs. This, of course, makes sense for a huge conglomeration such as Amazon that is covering tons of miles every day.
In a move aimed at reducing cost and carbon footprint, Amazon has contracted Rivian to produce 100,000 electric vans by 2030. The first 10,000 are slated to hit the ground running by 2022. There are three sizes of vans capable of moving 500, 700, or 900 cubic feet of packages.
A van with a skateboard chassis
According to MotorTrend’s Frank Markus, “the Prime vans will share their basic electrical and network architecture, ECUs, and battery packs with the Rivian R1 models.” The skateboard chassis, as it has been dubbed, will be the same one that Rivian will lend to the new electric Lincoln SUV. This chassis is also the basis for some of Rivian’s own vehicles.
The chassis has been aptly named this way for a simple reason: it resembles a skateboard. The mid-section is flat (like a board) and contains batteries, controls, and suspension. It is different from a normal chassis because it contains the power for the vehicle within it.
Though the chassis is similar to the one on the Rivian R1, it will not be assembled on the same line due to some key design changes. The R1 features an aluminum skateboard frame and “mostly aluminum body,” while the Amazon Prime vans will have a steel body and “steel ladder-frame skateboard.”
It will also basically get dunked into a large vat of paint and spun around like a tire rolling down a hill to ensure all of the bits and pieces are uniformly covered. This paint tank was apparently so large it had to be put into the ground of the shop so it could fit properly.
Is Rivian owned by Ford?
Rivian is not owned by Ford, but Ford did make a significant $500 million investment in the company back in 2019 according to Reuters. Rivian is hoping to rival Tesla with its technology, and the company seems to be working toward that goal.
Rivian’s own vehicles are slated to start getting delivered soon enough. The R1T Launch Edition is slated for June 2021, followed by the Adventure and Explore Editions in January of 2022. The R1S has a similar delivery timetable of August 2021 and January 2022 for the similarly named editions.
As far as the Amazon Prime Rivian vehicles, some of these vans started getting delivered earlier this month. Expect to see them in major cities sooner than later.