Amazon’s greenwashing efforts continue as the massive online retailer’s relationship with electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian hits its stride. Amazon announced in a blog post today that it already has over 1,000 electric delivery vehicles dropping off packages in dozens of cities across the U.S.
Amazon and Rivian first joined forces in 2019 when Amazon backed the EV startup with a massive investment. This July, hundreds of Amazon branded Rivian trucks began rolling out (pun intended) across the country in cities like Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis. Now, four months later, Amazon claims that its electric vehicle force has topped 1,000 delivery trucks in over 100 U.S. cities.
“Fleet electrification is essential to reaching the world’s zero-emissions goal,” said Jiten Behl in Amazon’s blog post. Behl is Rivian’s chief growth officer. “So, to see our ramp up in production supporting Amazon’s rollout in cities across the country is amazing. Not just for the environment, but also for our teams working hard to get tens of thousands of electric delivery vehicles on the road. They continue to be motivated by our combined mission and the great feedback about the vehicle’s performance and quality.”
For now, Amazon’s 1,000+ Rivian vehicles is just a fraction of their overall on-the-ground delivery force. According to The Verge, Amazon relies on 30,000 Amazon trucks and 20,000 Amazon trailers to get whatever you’re buying to your doorstep. With that said, Amazon did further claim in its blog post that it is hoping to increase its EV fleet to 100,000 vehicles by 2030, and that the company had already delivered 5 million packages using EVs from Rivian since July. That’s actually not that much considering Amazon delivered 4.2 billion parcels in 2020 according to Modern Retail, which is about 11 million every day. I guess even megacorporations have to take small steps.
Amazon is not the only retail giant that is pivoting toward electric delivery vehicles. Earlier this year, Walmart partnered with Canoo—an EV startup and Rivian rival—to bring 4,500 of the startup’s Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles to Walmart’s fleet beginning in 2023. Walmart and Amazon’s quest to electrify their delivery efforts is all well and good, but fails to address the root of their climate impact, which is that the entirety of these companies is based on excess consumption and maximalism.