Powering Up Deliveries: Amazon Preps for Electric Vans with Massive Charger Network

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Amazon Rivian Van Running across the street at nighttime.(Credits: Amazon)

Amazon is leading the charge in green deliveries. They have the most electric delivery vans in the US (over 13,500), built by Rivian. To keep these vans zipping around delivering your packages, Amazon built a giant network of charging stations.

Even though they had some bumps in the road getting started, their electric van strategy is now a model for other companies to follow.

Rivian's Revamped Experience 2024.11 Software Update
Rivian’s Revamped Experience 2024.11 Software Update(Credits: Rivian)

Building a massive network of chargers isn’t easy. Here’s how Amazon overcame some hurdles:

  • Power Planning: Figuring out how much electricity all those chargers would need was tricky. Amazon teamed up with utility companies to predict power needs in different areas.
  • Upgrading the Grid: Sometimes, extra power was needed. In Chicago, for example, the utility company found ways to boost the grid for Amazon’s warehouses.
  • Smarter Charging: Coordinating charging schedules with drivers was complex. Amazon is finding ways to make charging simpler so drivers can focus on deliveries.

By tackling these challenges, Amazon is paving the way for a smoother electric delivery in the future.

Several truck drivers were interviewed to test the company’s claims, whether it was what it claimed to be or not. One of the truck drivers gladly stated that the van was incredibly smooth and relaxing compared to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter he used to have.

He also highlighted some of its distinguishing features, which were:

  • Tech-Packed Interior: The vans have a big screen showing a 360-degree view around the vehicle, making navigating tight city streets easier.
  • Easy Cargo Handling: The driver also likes the automated back door and the way the cargo area is designed to organize packages.
  • Perfect for City Deliveries: The 150-mile range is enough for him to zip around town all day.
Amazon Rivian Van (Credits: Amazon)

Amazon’s investment in electric delivery vans isn’t just about the vehicles themselves. The company also had to spend millions, estimates say between $50-90 million, to install the charging infrastructure needed to keep these vans running on the network.

This includes a network of Level 2 charging dispensers. While that’s a hefty initial cost, it’s important to remember this is just the beginning. So far, only a fraction of the planned fleet is on the road – just 13,500 out of a total order of 100,000 electric vans.

This rollout is part of Amazon’s ambitious goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. The success of this electric van initiative has a ripple effect beyond Amazon. With Rivian now offering these vehicles to other commercial fleet operators, the impact of this green shift could be widespread across the cargo-hauling industry.


By Rajdeep Singh

Rajdeep (New Delhi) sparks electric vehicle enthusiasm with engaging content, empowering everyone to join the EV revolution.

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