There are currently three of them and staffers are getting trained on how to use them and the new in-vehicle systems on the roads of Oakland, Macomb and Genesee counties.
The vehicles are Rivian pre-production electric trucks built at the Rivian Engineering Center in Plymouth.
Guidehouse Insights auto analyst Sam Abuelsamid calls this an important vehicle for both the auto and delivery industries.
“Amazon committed -- sight unseen -- to buying 100,000 of these delivery vans from Rivian over the next several years,” Abuelsamid said.
It’s a multibillion-dollar commitment by Amazon, considering Rivian is a start up just recently opened up its first and only truck assembly in Normal, Illinois.
Abuelsamid said electric vehicles make perfect sense. Additionally, the testing that is going on in Metro Detroit stems from weather and rough roads.
“They don’t need a lot of range, these vehicles generally travel less than 75-80 miles per day having the battery under the load floor leaves lots of space for carrying cargo,” he said.
“For Amazon, testing them here (in Michigan) is gonna make a lot of sense when it comes to winter time driving and our roads are not great ... this will be a good durability test for the vans as well to see how well they hold up from the pounding of Michigan roads.”