Rivan and Amazon’s adorable electric van — the EDV — is hitting the streets, and the first 1,000 of the planned 100,000 planned for production are already in the hands of the e-commerce giant’s drivers. We had a chance to get up close and personal with the EDV at Rivian’s Venice, California showroom and were impressed with its design and new features. Here are 10 things we think make EDV cool and will hopefully make for a better experience for Amazon road warriors.

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The cute appearance of EDV is no accident. Rivian designers wanted it to look friendly, as it will often be seen in American neighborhoods. Instead of wearing the Rivian logo, Amazon’s is emblazoned on a mirror-black bezel.

The EDV is offered in two lengths, one designed to carry packages up to 500 cubic feet and the other for up to 700 cubic feet of cargo. The one shown here is the larger EDV700, but the EDV500 is essentially the same van with one less modular body panel. The entire van is designed to be easily repaired in the event of damage. For example, if the van is hit from behind, the rubberized plastic bumper can easily be replaced with an undamaged one at the depot.


High visibility rear lights

Speaking of rear end damage, the EDV’s bright and unmistakable red taillight stretches up and across the van. Not only does this make the van more visible, but it also looks sleek and futuristic.

The bright blue color that Amazon uses on its website is also incorporated into the EDV design. It’s everywhere, from the Prime logo on the side of the van to the interior trim and its large pattern covering the rear door area. Just inside the back and front right doors of the van are thick handles painted the same color. The stripes on the seats and detailing on the key fob are also in keeping with the theme.

As with Rivian R1T and R1S EDV models feature a large infotainment touchscreen and digital display. Amazon’s routing software is loaded instead of Rivian’s usual navigation software, but the rest is pretty much the same as what you’ll find on the brand’s luxury electric vehicles. The forward view can only be described as panoramic, and from this vantage point the driver can see straight ahead of the EDV. The 360-degree camera system also helps improve visibility when maneuvering on city streets.

The EDV has many features that make the delivery driver’s job easier, including a bulkhead door that automatically closes when the driver locks the van door. The seat is also very comfortable and can be adjusted to a wider range of positions than Ram ProMaster van which is now commonly used by Amazon drivers. The driver’s seat is heated and ventilated, as well as a heated steering wheel, all in the name of driver comfort. Rivian also designed the cargo bay to perfectly hold the specialized containers that Amazon uses to store its packages.

Closing the door is easy when the key fob is attached to the pocket. The EDV key has a built-in clip and has buttons on the top, making it easy to activate the remote locking function without having to pull the keys out of your pocket.

Trainees or delivery assistants can ride on this folding passenger seat. It’s surprisingly comfortable, and its placement makes it easy to pop out to carry a package to the customer’s front door. It even has a blue Prime seat belt, just like the one on the driver’s side. There’s also plenty of passenger legroom, and a cup holder is built into the molding at the base of the seat. When it’s not in use, which most of the time it won’t be, the bottom of the seat folds up and tucks neatly away to the side.

All EDV models come with a built-in first aid kit under the folding passenger seat. Its location near the door makes it easy to reach and grab essentials should the driver need a bandage or gauze.


Driver monitoring, but not what you think

Watching Big Brother while you’re just trying to do your job sounds like a nightmare, but Rivian assures us that this A-pillar-mounted camera system only monitors driver drowsiness or distraction as a safety feature. If it notices that the driver is one of these things, it will alert the suggestion to pay attention or stop for a break. Other driver assistance features on the EDV include lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beam and adaptive cruise control.

We’ve already spotted a couple of EDV700s on the road, like this one that senior news editor Joey Caparella found while delivering packages in his New York area. Rivian says the vans can travel up to 150 miles before needing a recharge, and Amazon’s warehouses are equipped with Level 2 charging stations so each can be charged overnight for next-day emissions-free delivery. The EDV has been designed to last 10 years or 330,000 miles before needing replacement, so if they end up on your route, you can expect to see them for a long time to come.

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