As far as electric car startups go, Rivian is one of the few that has actually reached production. While it has shown off its R1T pickup and R1S SUV far and wide, the company is also working to build a fleet of delivery vans for Amazon. As reported by Roadshow, those vans will go by the name EDV, with Amazon purchasing the first production models this month.
The particular vans currently in production will be known as the EDV 700, so named for its carbo space, a full 700 cubic feet in the rear. Having gone through testing, the EDV 700 has an EPA-rated range of 201 miles. This should ably serve most delivery routes. Furthermore, issues of finding a charger aren’t as problematic for fleet vehicles that can simply recharge at fulfillment depots. The vehicles have been in testing for some months now, but actual production models will begin delivery in December.
Reportedly, a smaller version is on the way too, by the name EDV 500. This is expected to be launched in 2022 on the same platform as the existing van.
The EDV is built at Rivian’s facility in Normal, Illinois. The battery, drive unit and stamping areas of the plant are shared between the R1 and RCV platforms, underpinning the consumer and commercial vehicles respectively. General assembly and body shop areas run separately, however.
The company expects to fall a few hundred vehicles short of its initial target of 1200 units for 2021. Rivian has built 652 R1 vehicles, delivering 386 of those to customers. Two of those are the first production R1S SUVs which sold earlier this week. Numbers of the EDV commercial vehicles sold aren’t present in the company’s Q3 shareholder letter, but with the first production models only being delievered to Amazon this month, the company has likely not hit its target of 300 vans sold to Amazon by the end of the year. Rivian has stated that the Amazon vans are a pirority; unsurprising given the contract expects to see 100,000 vans delivered by the end of the decade.
In concert with the news of Rivian’s new plant to be developed in Georiga, it seems as if the startup has cleared the first hurdles of production hell. It will also work to upgrade its facilities in Illionis, aiming to expand capability to 200,000 units annually, up from the initial planned capacity of 150,000. Whether the company can navigate the troubled waters of scaling production and ship mass numbers of vehicles will be borne out in the coming years.
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