Amazon to buy Stellantis EV vans, provide digital cockpits

Posted on and Stellantis said on Wednesday they will work together to develop cars and trucks with Amazon software in the dashboards, and deploy Stellantis electric vans on Amazon’s delivery network.

The agreements expand Amazon’s efforts to gain a foothold in the transportation sector, and could help Stellantis close the gap with Tesla in developing vehicles with advanced, software-driven infotainment features connected to the data processing cloud.

In Milan, Stellantis shares rose more than 3%.

The agreements between Stellaantis and Amazon, the online retailer and cloud computing power, announced in conjunction with the CES technology conference, are broad and include both software and hardware.

Amazon and Stellantis said they will work together to develop software for the “digital cockpit” infotainment systems of Stellantis vehicles to be launched in 2024. Stellantis said it will use Amazon’s Alexa technology for voice-activated functions, “navigation, vehicle maintenance, e-commerce marketplaces, and payment services.”

Major e-commerce delivery fleet operators like Amazon will be key in determining winners and losers as established automakers compete with startups to electrify the world’s parcel delivery system.

Yves Bonnefont, Stellaantis’ chief software officer, said during a conference call Wednesday that the automaker’s use of Alphabet Inc’s Android software for vehicles “will evolve over time.”

Amazon will also help Stellantis accelerate the development of new digital products and “hone Stellantis’ global workforce”. Stellantis and other established automakers are doing their best to match Tesla’s ability to quickly implement new vehicle features and revenue-generating subscription services using software delivered over the air.

As part of the partnership, Stellantis will use Amazon as its preferred cloud provider to provide the mobile network and computing power that future vehicles will need.

Under a separate agreement, Amazon will be the first customer of Stellantis’ new line of electric vans, which will hit the market in 2023. The companies said they plan to put thousands of Stellantis Ram ProMaster electric vans on the road every year.

Amazon has a previous agreement to buy up to 100,000 electric vans from startup Rivian Automotive.

Stellantis had agreed in May with iPhone assembler Foxconn to form a joint venture to provide in-car and connected-car technologies to the automotive industry.