Electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive and Amazon, which placed an order for 100,000 of Rivian’s electric delivery vans (EDVs) in 2019, are in talks to dissolve the exclusivity of their deal. The talks aren’t finalized and are continuing, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal this week.
If approved, the termination would let Rivian sell to other fleet customers.
Amazon still expects to buy 100,000 vans by 2030, but that date has been pushed back from the original announcement that cited 2024. Amazon informed Rivian it wanted to buy about 10,000 vans this year, which was at the low end of the earlier range, according to the WSJ report.
The delayed rollout of the Rivian LDV is one example of how supply-chain disruptions and production problems have affected timelines for the growth of the commercial EV industry.
Amazon initially said the first electric delivery vehicles would hit the streets starting in 2021, though that timeframe was pushed back. In subsequent announcements, Amazon committed to 10,000 electric delivery vehicles on the road “as early as 2022.”
Rivian has already been planning other electric van production projects, independent of the LDV.
Last September, Rivian entered into an agreement with Mercedes-Benz Vans that will enable the companies to cooperate on the production of electric vans.
The goal is to establish a joint-venture manufacturing company to produce large electric vans for both Mercedes-Benz Vans and Rivian, starting in a few years.
They will aim to produce two large vans, one based on the electric-only platform of Mercedes-Benz Vans, and the other based on the second generation electric-van, Rivian Light Van (RLV) platform.
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