Amazon will spend €1 billion in five years to electrify its delivery fleet in Europe, the retail giant announced. The money will be used to “double” the number of electric vehicles in Europe to 10,000 vans and 1,500 “electric trucks”. The company has said it aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
“Our transportation network is one of the most challenging areas of our business to decarbonise, and achieving net-zero carbon will require substantial and sustained investment,” said Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO, said in a statement.
Jassy said Amazon’s investment will hopefully boost the installation of more public EV chargers in Europe and spur the auto industry to make more electric vans.
“Our transportation network is one of the most challenging areas of our business to decarbonise”
The announcement comes as Amazon’s carbon emissions exploded last year, despite the company’s efforts to market itself as a leader in climate action. Carbon dioxide emissions grew by a staggering 18 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the latest sustainability report.
Amazon says it currently operates 3,000 electric vans in Europe, which have been used to deliver 100 million parcels by 2021. Amazon has not said what percentage of its deliveries in Europe are made by electric vehicles.
Amazon is also testing the use of electric bicycles to make last-mile deliveries in Europe, though it hasn’t said whether it would bring those tests to the US. The company launched so-called “micro-mobility hubs” in more than 20 cities in Europe, including London, Munich and Paris, and expects that number to double by the end of 2025. In addition to e-bikes, Amazon employees also deliver packages on foot from these hubs.
Many global delivery companies have made commitments to switch to an all-electric fleet, but the process has been slow so far. Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors have only just started rolling out their own electric vans and it is expected to be years before they make up the majority of vans on the road.