E-commerce giant Amazon announced that it will be investing over €1 billion to expand its fleet of electric-powered delivery vans and other similar vehicles as part of its effort to achieve its goal of becoming a net-zero carbon emitter by 2040.
In a press release published two days ago, the firm highlighted that these resources will be deployed within the next 5 years. The initiative should result in the addition of 7,000 new delivery vans to Amazon’s fleet in Europe to reach a total of 10,000 of these vehicles by 2025.
Moreover, the company founded by Jeff Bezos will also be expanding its fleet of long-haul transportation vehicles to at least 1,500 vehicles, up from just 20 electric heavy goods vehicles (eHGV) the firm has on the road at the moment.
“Our transportation network is one of the most challenging areas of our business to decarbonize, and to achieve net-zero carbon will require a substantial and sustained investment”, commented the Chief Executive Officer of the e-commerce company, Andy Jassy.
Amazon (AMZN) acknowledged that heavy-duty transportation vehicles are among the most challenging areas to decarbonize due to the long distances these automobiles have to travel and the significant weight they carry.
The Road to Net-Zero is Still Full of Obstacles for Amazon
Amazon is using its vast resources to promote innovation and scaling throughout this up-and-coming industry so manufacturers can step up their efforts.
The firm headed by Jassy has made commitments to purchase vehicles from multiple startups in the EV industry including Rivian (RIVN) – a firm in which it owns a stake and that has been granted a purchase order for 100,00 electric-powered delivery vans.
However, the industry is quite young still and manufacturers are still struggling to deliver capable vehicles that can live up to what they promise. Just yesterday, Rivian announced that it was recalling more than 12,000 vehicles including some of the delivery vans it had already delivered to Amazon.
The company cited an issue with the steering wheel of its R1T pickup and R1S SUV as they could be insufficiently tightened. This could affect the alignment of the vehicle’s front wheels and, if the fastener is completely loose, the driver could entirely lose control of the unit and that could potentially lead to a crash.
Aside from Rivian, Amazon has also made deals with companies such as Stellantis for the purchase of electric-powered delivery vehicles. Other legacy automobile manufacturers such as General Motors and Volkswagen are still working on developing working prototypes and industry professionals believe that it may take years for businesses to fully transition to this type of vehicle.
Another initiative that Amazon is rolling out to reduce its carbon footprint consists of small distribution centers called “micro-mobility hubs”. These hubs have been deployed in some of the most congested cities within Europe and their goal is to use eco-friendly transportation methods such as e-bikes and on-foot deliveries to cover certain areas.
These hubs will effectively take vehicles off the road and will reduce the mileage that Amazon’s fossil-fuel or electric-powered vehicles will have to cover to make their assigned deliveries.
Amazon’s Carbon Emissions Keep Growing Despite Its Green Initiatives
According to the e-commerce company, 85% of the energy that powers its businesses came from renewable sources by the end of 2021 while the firm is reportedly the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world.
However, the firm’s 2021 Sustainability Report indicated that Amazon’s carbon emissions grew 18% in 2021 compared to a year ago as the company’s operations have kept growing rapidly.
Most of this increase in the company’s emissions came from the development of capital goods such as buildings, equipment, and vehicles. Meanwhile, the use of fossil fuels significantly contributed to increasing Amazon’s footprint in 2021.
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