Amazon Has a New Trick Up Its Sleeve This Holiday Season

Amazon says this holiday season will be unlike any of the others in its history.

Amazon’s delivery trucks are pretty ubiquitous year-round, but the holiday season is when the company’s delivery apparatus really hums.

But this year Amazon  (AMZN) – Get Inc. Report is doing things a bit differently, thanks to its new, zero-emissions vehicle delivery fleet.

The company says that 2022 will be its first-ever holiday season with more than 1,000 delivery vehicles designed by electric vehicle maker Rivian  (RIVN) – Get Rivian Automotive Inc. Report

“We’re always excited for the holiday season, but making deliveries to customers across the country with our new zero-emission vehicles for the first time makes this year unique,” said Udit Madan, vice president of Amazon Transportation.

The company says that it has already delivered more than 5 million packages using the Rivian vehicles and that it working towards a goal of having 100,000 zero-emission delivery vehicles on the road by 2030. 

Amazon has been making deliveries with Rivian vehicles since August and the company says that it will be expanding its presence in Austin, Boston, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Madison, Newark, New York, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Portland, Provo, and Salt Lake City. 

Amazon’s Electric Future

Amazon has been an investor in Rivian since 2019 so the growing partnership between the two is natural. 

Amazon has a 17.74% stake with nearly 20 million shares as of Dec. 31 and has maintained its holding even as the EV manufacturer’s stock tanked by 68.38% year-to-date.

“Rivian is an important partner for Amazon, and we are excited about the future,” a spokesperson said previously in an emailed statement. “Putting 100,000 electric delivery vehicles on the road by 2030 is no small feat, and we remain committed to working with Rivian to make it a reality.”

Rivian meanwhile signed a deal earlier this year with authorities in Georgia to enable the company to accelerate the construction of its $5 billion factory east of Atlanta. 

Once manufacturing operations are ramped up, the facility will be able to produce as many as 400,000 vehicles a year.

Rivian Ramps Production

Last month, Rivian reaffirmed its production target of 25,000 electric vehicles in 2022 despite continued supply chain problems and soaring raw material prices.

The Irvine, Calif.-based group said on Oct. 3 that it “believes it is on track to deliver on the 25,000 annual production guidance previously provided.”

In the three months ending Sept. 30, the company produced 7,363 vehicles, more than the 7,000 anticipated by RBC Capital Markets analysts. When we add these 7,363 units to the 6,954 vehicles that the group produced between January and June, Rivian has already produced 14,317 cars. It will therefore have to manufacture 10,683 vehicles in the next three months to reach its objective.

Producing 10,000 vehicles in three months would be an ambitious feat for Rivian, which manufactured its first vehicle in September 2021. Since the start of the year, the young company has struggled to manage its production ramp-up.

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