Emily Tregidgo – emt2179
1) Sustainability Problem: Energy (Transportation)
70%+ of the energy that comes in the form of crude oil goes into the transportation sector1. In 2019, transportation was the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (29%) in the United States. The transportation sector’s reliance on fossil fuels and global reliance on transportation creates a handful of sustainability problems, including pollution and emissions. Electric vehicles can help to address some of these challenges, although it is worth noting that EVs themselves require charging from a grid that also relies heavily on fossil fuels and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, and that the materials for the batteries (both sourcing and disposal) also have environmental impacts.
2) Sustainability Technology: Rivian Electric Vans
- Amazon plans to use Rivian’s electric vans in 16 US locations. They began to use them in Denver, Colorado in late April 2021. The use of these electric vans is of particular interest to Coloradans because SUVs and trucks are the most popular vehicle types in the state.
- The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the installation of public charging stations in every state park. Furthermore, the Regional Air Quality Council granted Amazon $71,000 (through the Charge Ahead Colorado grant) for seven charging stations. It is anticipated that the first of these charging stations will be installed in July.
- The Amazon vans have an expected range of 150 miles, whereas consumer models (R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV) have an expected range of 300 miles.
- Rivian has raised $8bn in venture funding (as of January 2021), and has sold out its launch edition vehicles (the preorders of which are expected to be delivered this summer). All future vehicle pre-orders will not be delivered until 2022.
- Amazon will continue other electric vehicles in its fleet as well (20 million Amazon packages in North America and Europe have already been delivered by electric vehicle), and anticipates that by next year it will have 10,000 Rivians in use as delivery vehicles.
- Amazon (delivery team)
- Vehicle users (should they purchase a Rivian vehicle)
- Rivian (and investors)
- State regulatory and governing bodies, e.g. Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, Regional Air Quality Council
4) First Three Steps in Deploying This Technology
- Assess feasibility of integrating Rivian vans into Amazon’s fleet and the broader transportation infrastructure in the areas to which Amazon delivers.
- Raise awareness of the Rivian vehicles to market to a wider consumer base.
- Invest in the ability to grow the charging infrastructure concurrently with the demand for these vehicles.
1Class: Energy Markets and Innovation