Amazon announced that it will buy an undisclosed number of electric delivery vans from Stellantis in 2023. The automaker has said that it will roll out an all-electric version of its Ram ProMaster commercial van that year.
Stellantis, which is the company that formed last year from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the French PSA Group, has not officially revealed the electric vans. But Amazon says it will be the first commercial customer when they eventually enter production, with the two companies working together to put “thousands” of electric vans on the road.
Amazon has been working with Rivian, the buzzy electric vehicle company that went public last year in one of the biggest IPOs ever, on a fleet of electric delivery vehicles. Amazon, which owns about 20 percent of the company, has said it plans on ordering 100,000 vans from Rivian, in what is seen as one of the largest EV purchases in history.
(Stellantis is also working with Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet, on a fleet of autonomous Ram ProMaster vans.)
In addition to the deal for the Ram EVs, Amazon and Stellantis also announced that they would be working together to develop in-car software for Stellantis’ lineup of cars, trucks, and vans. The deal will allow Amazon to integrate its software into “millions” of vehicles, the companies said.
The two companies will collaborate on software for the “digital cockpit” infotainment systems of Stellantis vehicles that will launch in 2024. Stellantis said it will use Amazon’s Alexa technology for voice-controlled features, “navigation, vehicle maintenance, ecommerce marketplaces, and payment services.”
“We’re excited to collaborate with Stellantis to transform the automotive industry and re-invent the in-vehicle experience,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon, in a statement.
While this isn’t the same as Volvo completely turning over its vehicle operating system to Google’s Android, it does give Amazon a stronger toehold in the auto industry and could help Stellantis compete with other software-leading car companies like Tesla.
This isn’t the first time that Amazon and Stellantis have collaborated. The two companies announced early last year that the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer would be the first vehicles to feature in-car Amazon FireTV. Amazon’s software is accessible from both the main display and rear seat screens, but privacy filters prevent the driver from watching shows while the vehicle is in motion.