Online retail heavyweight Amazon have revealed plans to invest more than €1 billion (£880 million) to decarbonise its European transportation network via electrification with £300 million allocated to the UK.
The investment will be made over a five-year period and introduce environmentally friendly practices and technologies such as public charging infrastructure and EV options such as e-cargo bikes, electric vans and more.
Amazon’s new investment will also support the company’s target of being net zero by 2040 and will allow the retail giant to purchase and roll out 1,500 electric heavy goods vehicles in its European fleet, including 700 in the UK. This is a drastic increase from Amazon UK’s expected five by the end of 2022.
“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, CEO of Amazon.
“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.”
With micromobility hubs having been launched across European cities, including London, Amazon has disclosed its intention to double this figure by 2025 and enable deeper electrification of its transportation network and reduce the overall carbon footprint of deliveries.
These hubs aim to take traditional delivery vans off the roads and increase sustainable, alternative delivery options such as by electric bikes and walking.
This will build upon previous partnership aiming to increase the number of EV chargers in the UK and cater for the growing market. In 2021, the retail giant announced a deal with EO Charging to install over 800 EV chargers to support the electrification of British transportation.
In addition to these new vans and micro-mobility hubs and vehicles, Amazon will also invest in thousands of chargers across its European facilities. The investment will allow the company and its partners to improve fleet charging hardware.
“We are committed to creating cleaner transport as we work to tackle the global challenge that is climate change. Significant investments like Amazon’s today will be vital to reducing emissions and meeting our Net Zero goals, while supporting growth at the same time,” said Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
“By adding thousands of electric and zero emission vehicles to its fleet, Amazon is not only working to make their deliveries more sustainable, but also stimulating innovation across industry in the drive to cleaner transport.”
Amazon also stated it is on track to successfully power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025. 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 now has more than 100 renewable energy projects across Europe, including 30 on-site solar and off-site utility-scale solar or wind farm projects in the UK.
In 2017, Amazon announced plans for a new solar strategy which will see the technology deployed on 50 fulfilment and sortation centres globally by 2020, beginning with 15 US installations which had been completed the same year.
The recent EV World Congress, producted by Current± parent company Solar Media, highlighted the need to decrease disparity in EV charging in order to support fleet transition in the region. Amazon’s investment will help to cater for this and increase the availability of EV chargers.
“Drivers want to adopt EVs but are simply not always equipped to do so,” said Alexandre Page-Relo, VP international technology GF at fleet payment solutions company WEX, speaking at the Congress.