Rivian, Amazon to Scrap Exclusivity Part of Electric Van Deal, Says Report

Startup electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Rivian, and its majority stakeholder Amazon, may be looking to do away with the exclusive parts of its deal for electric last-mile delivery vans, according to people familiar with the subject, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Amazon has a deal with Rivian for 100,000 of the electric vans that was initiated in 2019, and the company began deploying them across the U.S. last year. Although the deal was originally intended to be exclusive for Amazon, the change could let other automakers and companies gain access to purchasing the electric vans.

The parent company is hoping to purchase 10,000 units this year alone, falling into the lower end of the spectrum on delivery expectations previously stated by Rivian. This resulted in Rivian wanting to remove the exclusivity terms and allow it to sell vans to other companies, claim sources.

“While nothing has changed with our agreement with Rivian, we have always said we want others to benefit from their technology in the long run,” one Amazon spokesperson said.

In October, Amazon announced plans to invest a billion dollars into electric vans in Europe, though it’s not clear whether these will also be built and distributed by Rivian.

Rivian also announced a partnership with Mercedes last year to produce electric vans for the automaker.

The automaker also began delivering its first R1T electric pickup units in 2021, and the company has been working to ramp up production of the EV.