Amazon will spend €1 billion over five years to electrify its delivery fleet in Europe, the retail giant announced. The money will be used to “double” the number of EVs in Europe to 10,000 vans and 1,500 “electric heavy goods vehicles.” The company has said it aims to be net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
“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,” Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO, said in a statement.
Jassy said that Amazon’s investment will hopefully spur the installation of more public EV chargers in Europe, as well as serve as an incentive to the auto industry to make more electric delivery vehicles.
“Our transportation network is one of the most challenging areas of our business to decarbonize”
The announcement comes as Amazon’s carbon output has ballooned last year despite the company’s efforts to sell itself as a leader in climate action. Its carbon dioxide emissions grew an eye-popping 18 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, according to its latest sustainability report.
Amazon says it currently operates 3,000 electric delivery vehicles in Europe, which have been used to delivery 100 million packages in 2021. Amazon did not say what percentage of its deliveries in Europe are made by electric vehicles.
In the US, Amazon has begun to deploy a new electric van made by EV company Rivian. The retailer made a deal with Rivian to buy 100,000 vans, which are expected to be fully deployed by 2024. Amazon also has a deal to buy electric delivery vehicles from Stellantis based on its Ram ProMaster commercial van.
Amazon is also testing out the use of electric bikes to make last-mile deliveries in Europe, though it has not said whether it would bring those tests to the US. The company launched so-called “micro-mobility hubs” in more than 20 cities across Europe, including London, Munich and Paris, and expects to double that figure by the end of 2025. In addition to e-bikes, Amazon workers also delivery packages on foot from these hubs.
Many global delivery firms have made commitments to switching to an all-electric fleet, but the process so far as been slow. Volkswagen, Ford, and General Motors have only just started rolling out their own electric delivery vehicles, and it is expected to take years before they comprise the majority of delivery vehicles on the road today.