Rivian’s electric van for Amazon raises battery power doubts

Rivian Automotive Inc’s (RIVN.O) electric vans for e-commerce retailer Inc (AMZN.O) may have a more limited range than what was previously disclosed, The Information reported on Friday, citing a driver testing the vehicle.

The driver told The Information that the battery drained about 40% faster than normal if the van’s heating or cooling was on.

Amazon, which disclosed a 20% stake in Rivian at the end of October, in 2019 ordered 100,000 of its electric delivery vans as part of the e-commerce giant’s effort to cut its carbon footprint.

Rivian had disclosed the vans would have a range of between 120 miles and 150 miles depending on their size. But that range is much lower depending on the weather, the report said.

According to the report, Ross Rachey, Amazon’s director of Global Fleets and Products, said air conditioning and heating could drain the battery in the vehicles being tested, and these vans did not have the insulation the final vehicles manufactured by Rivian will have.

The prototype van used had as many as 12 cameras inside and outside the van, but Amazon plans to add another four once the vehicles hit the road, the report said, citing Rachey.

Since it went public earlier this month, Rivian has grown to become one of the most valuable automakers, even though it has just started production and delivery of its electric vehicles.

Its shares pared gains following the news and were last up about 4%.