Amazon's brand-new Rivian electric delivery vans are finally testing on the roads, and bad news: they're not just loud at low speeds, but the noise they make is downright irritating.
An Amazon manager was driving alongside a Rivian engineer to test out the vans around Los Angeles, Drive Tesla Canada reports. Their tipster Jeffrey Chen was able to grab a short clip of the noise they make, which to me, sounds like a mix of a generic sci-fi hum and the most annoying sound in the world from Dumb and Dumber.
Mind you, otherwise quiet EVs are now required to have a pedestrian warning system that emits sound when the vehicle is on and moving under 18.6 miles per hour. The point is to make sure people can hear vehicles coming, and good job on that, I guess. Mission accomplished.
Chen told Drive Tesla Canada that the sound was comparable to a loud V6, and that he could hear the van from inside his home.
I have to feel for the delivery guys here. That's a jarringly loud sound, and while cartoony Jetsons noises sound cool for the first few stops, I can't imagine how this wouldn't grate on some drivers' nerves over the course of the day. Y'all order 50-pound bags of dog food off the internet and now this?
Fortunately, it's a visually pleasing van with a friendly face, and the Amazon manager behind the wheel had some decent praise for its functionality. The manager told Chen that the van was easier to get in and out of than the Mercedes-Benz Sprinters that Amazon uses now, which is big when that's one of the most repetitive tasks of the job.
Chen wasn't able to suss out too many more details on the van beyond the fact that it was front-wheel drive, Drive Tesla Canada reports. Per the Amazon manager, the company only wants the van to have enough range to complete a normal delivery route in order to keep costs down. The Rivian engineer didn't comment further, stating simply that "it has enough."
Amazon is a significant
investor in Rivian and placed one of the company's earliest commercial vehicle orders for 100,000 vans. The first Amazon delivery vans were expected to hit the roads in early 2021, making this van spotting right on time.
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