An Amazon delivery driver says Rivian’s electric van could eliminate the transmission problems, dead batteries, and broken doors that can make his work a pain (AMZN)

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Rivian Amazon delivery van

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Earlier this month, Amazon unveiled one of the delivery vans it commissioned from the electric-vehicle startup Rivian. The vans could hit the road as early as 2022, and the retail giant expects 100,000 of them to be delivering packages by 2030.

In a blog post, Amazon highlighted a number of the vehicle’s features, including driver-assistance technology, cameras that give drivers a 360-degree view of their vehicle, and voice-command tools powered by Alexa.

Business Insider asked an Amazon delivery driver to share his thoughts on the Rivian van and describe the features that are most important to him. The driver had a positive impression of the vehicle, but requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media. Business Insider verified that he works for Amazon.

These are the features the driver highlighted.

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No multi-speed transmission

The driver said the vans he uses now to deliver packages sometimes fail to find the right gear, which means they may struggle to reach his desired speed or go too fast down a hill. Rivian’s electric-vehicle platform, like most EVs, uses a single-speed gearbox, which means the startup’s vans won’t get stuck in the wrong gear.

A lower center of gravity

Electric vehicles tend to place their batteries below the floor pan, which gives the vehicle a low center of gravity that can improve handling. For a tall vehicle like a van, that decreases the odds of tipping over if the driver has to make a sudden turn to avoid hitting a person or object, the driver said.

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No dead batteries in the morning

Sometimes, the van the driver is assigned for a shift won’t start because its batteries are depleted. But, if his depot installs chargers when the Rivian vans arrive, they can be fully charged each morning, he said.

Doors that are designed to be opened and closed repeatedly

Some of the vans the Amazon driver uses aren’t designed for the wear and tear that comes with making deliveries all day, which means their rear doors can break after too many openings and closings. But the Rivian van was built with this use case in mind, which the Amazon driver said should minimize the odds of rear-door breakdowns.


“They’re going to be designed exactly for what we do,” the driver said.

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Source:: Business Insider

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