Amazon is the largest private charging operator in the US

Amazon is now the largest private operator of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in the USA. According to media reports, the retail giant has installed more than 17,000 chargers in around 120 warehouses in the USA in just over two years.

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Of the 100,000 electric delivery vans ordered from Rivian in 2019, which Amazon began deploying in the USA in 2022, around 13,500 have been delivered to date. Amazon is also relying in part on the expertise of a German company for its charging infrastructure: in the article, Bloomberg mentions the Amazon depot in Maple Valley, Washington. There, 309 chargers from Siemens supply the Rivian delivery vans with electricity.

However, when building charging infrastructure on such a scale, Amazon also had to experience the limits of the power grid. Bloomberg refers to government estimates according to which a warehouse of around 100,000 square meters in an industrial area requires around 50 kW, primarily for lighting and air conditioning. With 100 chargers in the parking lot, this power requirement could increase by a factor of ten to 20. “It was a bit of a surprise, how long we would need to prepare for the lead time for infrastructure,” said Chris Atkins, who leads Amazon’s logistics sustainability teams.

And one point that Amazon itself doesn’t talk about: installing all the charging points is expensive. In the USA, Amazon relies almost exclusively on Level 2 chargers, which in the USA refers to AC chargers with 240 volts – Level 1 are 120-volt systems, Level 3 is DC fast charging. Bloomberg estimates that Amazon alone spends between 50 and 90 million dollars on charging hardware. “Factoring in costs beyond the plugs and related hardware — like digging through a parking lot to lay wires or set up electrical panels and cabinets – could double that sum. Amazon declined to comment on how much it spent on its EV charging push,” Bloomberg wrote. Amazon declined to comment on the costs.


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