Amazon pushes €1 billion into decarbonising operations in Europe

Amazon has announced investing over one billion euros into decarbonising its logistics operations in Europe within the next five years. The online retailer targets doubling the electric vehicle fleets with plans for purchasing thousands of new EVs, including large trucks and corresponding mega-watt charging infrastructure.

Amazon is reportedly already using thousands of zero-emission vehicles across its European operations, and this investment will add “thousands” more, according to today’s statement, then accelerating Amazon’s progress toward becoming net-zero carbon by 2040 – ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement, the company points out.

As for concrete numbers, Amazon targets swelling the transporter fleet to 10,000 zero-emission vans by 2025, up from 3,000 today. The statement leaves open where these vans will come from and if these include existing orders. For example, Amazon has orders with Stellantis over “thousands” BEV ProMasters expected to hit the road every year. The company also ordered more than 1,800 e-transporters for Europe from Mercedes-Benz Vans in August 2020. At the time, it was the largest order for electric vehicles for Daimler ever.

What is news are concrete plans for the heavy-duty segment, which is only recently becoming more electric yet largely so. Amazon now wants to procure up to 1,500 heavy-duty electric trucks and is already among the first clients for both Volvo and Daimler. Volvo Trucks will deliver 20 FH Electric trucks to Amazon in Germany before the end of the year; Amazon is also part of a real-world trial of Daimler’s 44-ton electric truck funded by the German BMDV ministry.

In Germany alone, Amazon will invest 400 million euros as part of the new budget.

The company added that it was “using its size and scale to help spark the scaling of eHGV production so Amazon and others can more quickly transition away from diesel trucks.”

The same argument was made regarding charging infrastructure, including electric trucks. Without becoming specific than announcing “thousands of specialised chargers allowing heavy-duty EVs to charge in under two hours”, Amazon added that the investment was also intended “to drive innovation across the industry and encourage more public charging infrastructure”.

One example of how such charging infrastructure could look like is the EV Park in Essen, Germany, where 340 charging stations help over 150 electric delivery vehicles operate every day.

As for the last miles, the electric vehicles will be backed by what Amazon calls micro-mobility hubs, central depots deploying smaller vehicles for deliveries. These exist in more than 20 cities across Europe, including London, Munich and Paris, and Amazon also expects to double that figure by the end of 2025.

“Our transportation network is one of the most challenging areas of our business to decarbonise, and to achieve net-zero carbon will require a substantial and sustained investment,” said Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO. “Deploying thousands of electric vans, long-haul trucks, and bikes will help us shift further away from traditional fossil fuels—and hopefully, further encourage transportation and automotive industries in Europe and around the world to continue scaling and innovating, as we will have to work together to reach our climate goals.”

Amazon also targets powering its operations in Europe with 100% renewable energy by 2025, and in 2021, the company reached 85%. This applies to all Amazon operations, such as data centres, logistics facilities, physical stores, and corporate offices, including on-site charging points. Amazon says it now has more than 100 renewable energy projects across Europe.

As for the US and other markets, similar advances are underway with partners such as Rivian or Tata Motors. At the same time, Rivian has been looking for a European production facility, intending to produce the custom delivery vehicle it is making for Amazon, as reported. Amazon expects the Rivian fleet to grow to 100,000 e-vans on order by 2030.


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