AT&T and EV start-up company Rivian announced on December 14 that the wireless company would purchase some electric vehicles from Rivian as part of AT&T’s pilot program to evaluate ways to cut emissions, reduce costs, and improve safety, Reuters reported.
The vehicle purchase agreement with AT&T is the first for Rivian after it ended its exclusivity agreement to supply delivery vans to its largest shareholder Amazon in November.
Following its decision to end its exclusive deal with Amazon, Rivian raised its production forecast for the year to 54,000 vehicles in anticipation of more customers.
AT&T said it expected to start adding Rivian vehicles, including its electric commercial vans, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles, to AT&T’s fleet of vehicles early next year, according to a joint statement from the two companies. However, the statement did not specify the number of vehicles AT&T would be purchasing or the financial terms the companies agreed to.
The wireless company has been investing in transitioning its commercial fleet to more “climate-friendly” vehicles that use alternative fuels like compressed natural gas and hybrid gas/electric vehicles.
AT&T Connected Solutions Senior Vice President Hardmon Williams said the pilot program with Rivian is another step in the company’s “efforts toward sustainability” to reduce its carbon footprint and embrace “a cleaner future for our operations.”
Corporate ESG goals and emission reduction targets have prompted companies to transition to zero-emission vehicle fleets. However, higher interest rates have made electric vehicles more costly for consumers, particularly since electric vehicles are generally more expensive than their traditional counterparts.
Despite the costs, Rivian has said that it continues to see plenty of “interest and demand” for its electric vehicles now that its exclusive agreement with Amazon has ended.
In the joint statement, Rivian reiterated that it would fulfill the order of 100,000 vans to Amazon by 2023.