Amazon has added another California city, San Francisco, to its testing program for electric delivery vans made by Rivian.
Last month, Amazon began testing Rivian's van in Los Angeles, the first of 16 cities nationwide where the giant online retailer will be piling on miles and learning how the Rivian vans perform in real-world conditions.
San Francisco, with its many steep hills, will be a particularly brutal test. The vans, early hand-built preproduction vehicles, are estimated to be able to travel 150 miles on a charge. Amazon has ordered 100,000 Rivian vans and plans to begin operating fleets full time as early as 2022.
The electric vans potentially could save Amazon billions of dollars per year in maintenance and fuel costs as well as dramatically reduce the company's carbon footprint. Amazon is redesigning it delivery stations to accommodate electric vehicles.
If all goes according to schedule, Amazon could have as many as 10,000 Rivian vans in service next year, the company said.
"As we continue to grow and invest in California, we want to do so responsibly, so we're excited for customers in the Bay area to see these vehicles cruising through their neighborhoods," Ross Rachey, director of Amazon's Global Fleet and Products, said in a statement.
Deliveries of Rivian's first consumer vehicle, the R1T electric pickup, remain on track to begin in June.