Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce retailer, will invest more than €1 billion ($972 million) to electrify its European transportation network as it accelerates its drive to achieve net-zero emissions over the next two decades.
The amount will be invested over the next five years, with more than £300 million ($330 million) set for the UK alone, Amazon said on Monday.
Amazon currently has more than 3,000 electric vans delivering packages to customers across Europe and, with the investment, expects to grow its fleet to more than 10,000 by 2025.
The move will accelerate the Seattle-based company’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, while also supporting innovation in zero-emission vehicles and encouraging the use of public charging infrastructure, it said.
“Our transportation network is one of the most challenging areas of our business to decarbonize, and achieving net zero carbon emissions will require substantial and sustained investment,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said.
“The implementation of thousands of electric vans, long-distance trucks and bicycles will help us move even further away from traditional fossil fuels and hopefully further encourage the transport and automotive industries in Europe and around the world to continue to scale and innovate, as we will have to work together to achieve our climate goals.”
Governments around the world are turning to clean energy projects to reduce emissions as they adopt net-zero emissions targets for decades to come.
The United States, the world’s largest economy, the United Kingdom and the 27-member EU bloc plan to become carbon neutral by 2050, while China, the world’s second largest economy, aims to hit the target by 2060.
To achieve these goals, many countries are encouraging the adoption of electric cars as they seek to reduce emissions from the transport sector, which is a key emitter.
Electric vehicle sales doubled last year on an annual basis to a record 6.6 million, accounting for about 10 percent of global electric car sales, the International Energy Agency said in May.
Overall, the number of electric vehicles on the world’s roads by the end of 2021 stood at around 16.5 million, triple the number in 2018, the agency said.
Meanwhile, electric vehicle shipments are projected to exceed 10 million units in 2022 and reach 58 million by 2030, according to a study by Counterpoint Research.
Amazon has also launched micromobility hubs — smaller, centrally located delivery stations — in more than 20 cities across Europe, including London, and said it planned to double that figure by the end of 2025.
The centers will allow the company to operate new delivery methods, such as electric cargo bikes and foot deliveries, and help get traditional delivery vans off the road, the company said.
Amazon also said it will invest in “thousands of chargers” at its European hubs.
Another investment focus of the company will be electric heavy-duty vehicles (EHGV).
“Long-haul transportation is a difficult sector to decarbonize due to the size and weight of trucks and trailers, and the long distances they must travel,” the company said.
“EHGV [is] a promising technology, but the availability of production and charging infrastructure is limited”.
Amazon, which has five EHGVs on the road in the UK, aims to have 20 in Germany by the end of this year.
As part of its latest investment, the company expects to buy more than 1,500 EHGVs for its European fleet, including more than 700 in the UK in the coming years, it said.
Amazon will also build “hundreds of specialized fast chargers” at its European hubs, allowing it to charge vehicles in about two hours.
The retailer, which aims to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, now has more than 100 renewable energy projects across Europe, including 30 solar and wind farm projects in the UK, it said.
Updated: October 10, 2022, 7:46 am