No #VanLife for Rivian Fans: Rivian Cancels Consumer Van Partnership

Electric makes a lot of sense. They’re large and built for portability, so they can hold a big battery. But the van market is small, at least compared to the market for pickup trucks and SUVs. Although it announced just five months ago that it would build with Mercedes-Benz, the partnership has ended, according to a new report.

Rivian produces the R1T R1S SUV

2023 Rivian R1S | They revive

Rivian Automotive apparently came out of nowhere and launched the new R1T truck in late 2021 and the R1S seven-seat SUV in 2022. Both vehicles immediately shot to the top of several must-have lists. They are luxurious, fast, beautiful and capable vehicles. Van fans got excited when Rivian and Mercedes-Benz announced in late 2022 that the two of them would make a van together.

, this collaboration has ended. With that partnership dissolved, that means we won’t be seeing a new Rivian van any time soon. That means there’s no hope for electric #vanlife for Rivian fans, at least for now.

Mercedes already produces an electric van

Mercedes makes its debut with the eSprinter van.  An electric Sprinter is now also coming to the USA.
Electric Mercedes Sprinter van | Bernd Thissen via Getty Images

In Europe, many major cities, including London and Madrid, have banned smelly and noisy internal combustion vehicles from their busy city centres. Idling delivery vans not only waste gas and pollute, they are just loud and annoying in these busy city centres. That’s why Mercedes launched the eSprinter Van in 2019.

Even though the vans are small, the eSprinter is finally coming to America. According to CNET, the new eSprinter 2.0 will be manufactured in South Carolina, meaning it should qualify for a federal tax credit in 2023. Vans sold by Benz in Europe have a range of only 85-100 miles, which could be great for London, but not good enough to meet the demands of US buyers. The American van should have more range.

The eSprinter 2.0 is expected to be available in consumer and fleet versions. While he’ll be tackling and an upcoming electric Ram Van, that also means Benz didn’t need to partner with Rivian.

Amazon is getting its Rivian vans, however

Could the hot sales of this new electric van prove that electric vans are the future?

Amazon commissioned Rivian to build a custom electric van for its drivers. They have some interesting features that make them particularly suitable for parcel delivery services. In the video above YouTube reviewer Doug Demuro demonstrates many of the features of the vans that delivered several packages last Christmas. Amazon has ordered 100,000 vans, available in different configurations.

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