Amazon pumps €1 billion into greening its European car fleet

US giant Amazon plans to more than double its fleet of electric vehicles making deliveries in Europe. The multinational technology company that focuses on e-commerce, among others, is planning an investment of more than 1 billion euros over five years, it announced on Monday, to work on decarbonizing its transport network in Europe.

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, plans to purchase and deploy more than 1 500 electric trucks in its European fleet, including more than 300 in France in the coming years, the company said in a statement sent to AFP.

Micro-mobility hubs

On a smaller scale, Amazon intends to increase its fleet of electric vans from more than 3 000 today to more than 10 000 by 2025. Amazon already uses several thousand zero-emission vehicles in its European operations, including five 37-ton DAF e-trucks in the UK and 20 in Germany by the end of the year.

In addition, Amazon plans to develop ‘micro-mobility hubs’, smaller depots than the suburban warehouses from which it can deliver to the heart of cities on foot or by cargo bike. Such hubs already exist in more than 20 European cities, including Paris, Lyon, and Nice in France, and will be present in twice as many municipalities by the end of 2025.

Combat global warming

Amazon will also invest in infrastructure for electric driving by installing thousands of charging points in Europe.

The deployment of electric vehicles should help the company “rely less on traditional fossil fuels” and “further encourage the transport and car manufacturing industries in Europe and around the world to step up their efforts and continue to innovate” to combat global warming.

Zero emissions by 2040

Amazon has set a target of zero net CO2 emissions by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement target, a target viewed with skepticism by some climate change organizations because of the company’s huge carbon footprint.

The American giant manages a vast logistics network worldwide for its deliveries and an online storage space based on energy-intensive server farms.

It should be noted that by zero-emission vehicles, Amazon means cars that do not emit CO2 during their driving phase. However, manufacturing them may have resulted in the emission of greenhouse gases.

Deal with partner Rivian

Nearly three years ago, Amazon ordered 100 000 custom-made electric delivery vehicles from start-up Rivian, most of them planned to deliver by 2025. The battery-powered trucks were an essential element of Amazon’s plan to limit carbon emissions as it builds its own fleet in the US and relies less on contractors like UPS to deliver billions of orders.

Amazon invested 700 million dollars in Rivian, and the company is reportedly planning to build electric vans with Mercedes in Europe. Currently, Amazon has more than 100 000 vans in the US, most of them diesel-powered. Last year, it delivered about 6 billion packages in the US, surpassing UPS.

Amazon has also ordered electric Ram vans from Stellantis, 1 800 vans from the Mercedes-Benz Group in Europe, the Canadian-based Lion Electric, and Volvo. It has also formed a partnership with the Indian automaker Mahindra.

Still higher CO2 emissions

Last year, Amazon emitted 71,54 million metric tons of CO2. That’s up about 18% compared with 2020 and about 40% since 2019. However, the company’s carbon intensity decreased by 1,9%. This measurement quantifies total carbon emissions, in grams of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO₂e), per dollar of gross merchandise sales (GMS).

According to Amazon, it is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in Europe, with 3,5GW of renewable energy projects in Europe and 12 GW globally. The Seattle company also secured more than 5 million gallons of low-carbon aviation fuel in 2020 and agreed to purchase up to 6,5 million gallons in 2021 and 2022.

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