Rivan and Amazon’s beautiful electric delivery van – the EDV – is hitting the streets, with the first 1,000 of the planned 100,000 planned for production already in the hands of the e-commerce giant’s executives. We had a chance to get up close and personal with the EDV at Rivian’s Venice, California, showroom and came away impressed with its design and new features. Here are 10 things we think make the EDV cool and, we hope, will make for a better experience for Amazon’s road warriors.
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The EDV’s cute appearance is no accident. Rivian’s designers wanted it to have a friendly appearance, as it will be a regular sight in American neighborhoods. Instead of carrying a Rivian logo, Amazon’s is emblazoned on its mirror-finished black fascia.
The EDV is offered in two lengths, one intended to carry 500 cubic feet of packages and one that can hold up to 700 cubic feet of cargo. The one shown here is the larger EDV700, but the EDV500 is essentially the same van with one less modular body panel. The entire van is designed to be easily repaired in case of damage. For example, if the van is hit from behind, the rubber plastic bumper can easily be exchanged for an undamaged one back at the depot.
Speaking of rear-end damage, the EDV’s bright and unmistakable red tail light stretches up and over the entire pickup. Not only does this make the van more visible, but it also looks sleek and futuristic.
The bright blue color that Amazon uses throughout its website is also incorporated into the EDV’s design. It’s everywhere from the Prime logo on the side of the pickup to the trim in the cabin and a big swatch of it covering the rear door area. Just inside the rear and right front doors of the van are thick grab handles painted in the same color. Stripes on the seats and details on the key fob also carry the theme.
Just like Rivian’s R1T and R1S models, the EDV has a large infotainment touchscreen and a digital gauge display. Amazon’s routing software is loaded in place of Rivian’s normal navigation software, but the rest is pretty much the same as what you’ll find on the brand’s luxury EV trucks. The view ahead can only be described as panoramic, and from this vantage point the driver can see directly what is ahead of the EDV. A 360-degree camera system also helps improve visibility when maneuvering on city streets.
The EDP has many features intended to make the delivery driver’s job easier, including a bulkhead door that closes automatically when the driver closes the van’s doors. The seat is also very comfortable and can be adjusted to a wider range of seating positions than the Ram ProMaster van currently commonly used by Amazon drivers. The driver’s seat is heated and ventilated and the steering wheel is also heated, all in the name of driver comfort. Rivian has also designed the loading space to perfectly hold the specialized bins that Amazon uses to store its packages.
Locking the doors is easy if you clip the key fob to your pocket. The EDV’s key has an integrated clip and features buttons on the top, making it easy to activate the remote control function without pulling keys out of your pocket.
Apprentices or delivery helpers can ride on this fold-down passenger seat. It’s surprisingly comfortable and its position makes it easy to jump out to run a package to a customer’s porch. It even has a Prime blue seat belt just like the driver’s side. There is also plenty of legroom for the passenger, and a cup holder is molded into the underside of the seat. When not in use—which it won’t be most of the time—the seat bottom folds up and stores neatly out of the way.
All EDV models come with an integrated first aid kit under the passenger jump seat. The location near the door makes it easy to reach in and grab supplies if the driver needs a bandage or gauze.
Management monitoring—but not what you think
Being watched by Big Brother while you’re just trying to do your job sounds like a nightmare, but Rivian assures us this A-pillar-mounted camera system only monitors for driver drowsiness or distraction as a safety feature. If it detects that the driver is one of those things, it will alert a suggestion to pay attention or to stop for a break. Other driver assistance features on the EDV include lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beam headlights and adaptive cruise control.
We’ve already seen a few EDV700s on the road, like this one that senior news editor Joey Capparella found delivering packages in his New York neighborhood. Rivian says the vans can travel up to 150 miles before needing to be recharged, and the Amazon depots are being equipped with Level 2 charging stations so each of them can be juiced up overnight for emission-free deliveries the next day. The EDV is designed to last for 10 years or 330,000 miles before needing to be replaced, so once they’re on your route, you can expect to see them for a long time.
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