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AT&T enters surprising new partnership in hopes of cutting costs: ‘Another important step in our ongoing efforts’

“It’s imperative we do all we can as soon as possible.”

"It's imperative we do all we can as soon as possible."

Photo Credit: iStock

Telecommunications company AT&T has announced a new partnership with electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian.

The agreement, which will see Rivian provide electric commercial vans, R1T pickup trucks, and R1S sport utility vehicles for AT&T’s commercial fleet, is intended to help the latter cut costs and reduce the pollution it produces in daily operations.

Rivian previously had an exclusivity deal with Amazon to provide delivery vans, according to Reuters, but after that expired, the California-based manufacturer can broaden its horizons. The deal with AT&T heralds the company’s first agreement outside of its previous pact.

It’s described as a pilot program, suggesting that the scope of the deal could be broadened if both parties are happy with the results. Rivians will be added to AT&T’s transportation options in “early 2024,” helping the company move toward its target of carbon neutrality by 2035.

“We’re excited to purchase Rivian EVs for our fleet,” senior vice president of AT&T Connected Solutions Hardmon Williams said in the announcement. “This pilot is another important step in our ongoing efforts toward sustainability, reducing our carbon footprint and embracing a cleaner future for our operations. 

“With advanced connectivity and a vision for a sustainable future, Rivian is setting the standard for the evolving demands of modern transportation.”

Meanwhile, Rivian’s vice president for strategy and fleet, Dagan Mishoulam, is excited about what the deal means for the health of the planet.

“Around a quarter of CO2 emitted in the transportation sector in the U.S. comes from commercial vans, so it’s imperative we do all we can as soon as possible to help cut emissions,” Mishoulam said. 

Although Rivian saw its shares fall in early January following a slight slump in vehicle deliveries in the final quarter of 2023, Reuters noted it beat its annual production forecast and produced 7.5% more vehicles in the last three months of 2023 compared to the previous quarter. 

While it still has some miles to make up in the widening EV race in the United States, which has Tesla as the runaway leader, Rivian is demonstrating its ambition when it comes to producing and delivering clean electric vehicles.

Deals like the one it just made with AT&T will contribute to Rivian’s long-term ambitions in the EV space, and the reduction in dirty-fuel pollution on U.S. roads that the deal will bring should also be celebrated.

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