Amazon tests electric last-mile vans for consumer deliveries

The Ontime logistics news update, Amazon has committed to reaching net-zero carbon production in its own operations by 2040 as part of its Climate Pledge. The company can’t get there without wide adoption of electric vehicles, if it wants to avoid reliance on carbon offsets, according to Anand Gopal, climate initiative program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

“It’s pretty important that they electrify their fleet to have any hope of meeting their Climate Pledge,” Gopal said.

Amazon had trouble finding an electric van tailored to the needs of its drivers, according to the blog post, hence the custom order.

“We hope our custom electric vehicle helps create a sense of urgency in the industry to think big about embracing sustainable technology and solutions — whether you’re a package delivery company, a logistics company, an ice cream manufacturer, or almost anyone else with vehicles on the road,” said Rachey.

But Gopal said the move could send an important signal to manufacturers, too. The capability to make more vehicles like Amazon’s is out there, but the willingness or market cues may not be.

“The more you see Amazon making moves like this, the more it’s going to make Daimler or Mack, or all these other established current combustion manufacturers take notice,” he said.

Europe and Asia are further ahead in this respect on the buying and selling side of EV, as stronger demand has encouraged manufacturers to make more models available, according to Gopal.  Amazon is adding 1,800 electric delivery vehicles from Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz to its fleet in Europe this year, along with 10,000 electric delivery vehicles to its fleet in India by 2025.

Electric vehicles are getting a sputtering start among other major logistics players. UPS is expecting 10,000 electric vans from British startup Arrival, with small initial deliveries starting next year in the U.S. according to Autoblog. The carrier also has orders in for Tesla’s Class 8 truck, which has been delayed until 2021.

Amazon’s Rivian order is a start, but Gopal said the more impactful move will be to electrify Amazon’s Class 8 fleet. ”Luckily, the technology is there,” Gopal said. Amazon’s existing combustion tractors come from Volvo and Kenworth, according to multiple media reports.


Post time: Oct-25-2021