Major order builds on tech giant's net zero pledge and plans to deploy 100,000 electric vehicles in the coming years
Amazon has moved to further accelerate the roll out of its electric fleet, today announcing that it has placed an order for more than 1,800 electric vans with auto giant Mercedes-Benz.
The deal, financial details for which were not disclosed, is the largest order of electric vehicles (EVs) to date for Mercedes-Benz and will provide a major boost to Amazon's ambitions to decarbonise its European delivery fleets.
Mercedes-Benz has also become the latest major corporate to join Amazon's Climate Pledge initiative, which sees companies commit to delivering net zero emissions across their business by 2040 - 10 years earlier than the Paris Agreement.
The new commitment was welcomed by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who stressed that major customers needed to work with auto manufacturers to accelerate emissions reductions across the transport sector.
"We need continued innovation and partnership from auto manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz to decarbonize the transportation sector and tackle the climate crisis," he said. "Amazon is adding 1,800 electric delivery vehicles from Mercedes-Benz as part of our journey to build the most sustainable transportation fleet in the world, and we will be moving fast to get these vans on the road this year."
Under the terms of the deal, Mercedes-Benz will deliver more than 1,200 of its latest EV, the eSprinter commercial van. It will also provide a further 600 of its first electric van, the midsize eVito.
Amazon said the new vehicles would be provided to its Amazon Delivery Service Partners, helping to deliver thousands of metric tons of carbon emissions, as well as air quality improvements and reductions in running costs.
The deal is a major boost to Mercedes-Benz electrification plans, which have the company set out a "roadmap to CO2-neutral mobility" under its "Ambition2039" banner. The strategy, which was first announced last year, aims to deliver a CO2-neutral fleet of new cars in less than 20 years. The first phase of the plan aims to ensure that by the end of this year the company has five fully electric models and more than 20 plug-in hybrids available for sale.
"At Mercedes-Benz, we have set ourselves the ambitious target to make the transformation of mobility a success story. By joining 'The Climate Pledge' we are building on our goal to consistently pursue emission-free mobility and sustainable vehicle production," said Ola Källenius, chairman at Daimler and Mercedes-Benz. "We stand with Amazon, Global Optimism and the other signatories of The Climate Pledge, in a commitment to being net zero carbon by 2040 - 10 years ahead of The Paris Agreement. I am pleased that we will be able to gain even more momentum on our sustainability offensive with this step."
Marcus Breitschwerdt, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said the deal also highlighted the competitiveness of the companies EV offering. "With the eVito and the eSprinter, we have electric vehicles in our portfolio, which are ideally suited for the requirements of the courier-, express- and parcel-service industry for goods delivery on the so-called 'last mile' in terms of their equipment and range," he said. "They show that local emission-free driving, convincing performance, comfort and low operating costs can be combined perfectly."
The partnership is also the latest in a string of investments from Amazon following its launch last year of The Climate Pledge initiative and its high profile commitment to deliver net zero emissions by 2040. The initial announcement of the new target was made alongside the unveiling of the largest order of EVs to date globally, with the company committing to buy 100,000 vans from US start up Rivian.
The company has also continued to step up its investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, as it looks to meet a goal to run on 100 per cent renewable power by 2025.
Globally, Amazon now has 91 renewable energy projects that together boast nearly 3GW of capacity and just this week it moved to further boost its supply of renewable power with the unveiling of plans for a new 115MW wind farm in Ireland, which will serve to power its Amazon Web Services data centres in the country.
The project is due to come online in 2022 and will join two other wind farms in the company's Irish portfolio, which together will provide 229MW of clean energy capacity to the Irish grid each year, delivering around 366,000 tonnes of carbon emission savings.
The company's net zero plans have been broadly welcomed by green groups following year's of criticism over the huge scale of the global tech giant's environmental impacts, although questions remain in some quarters as to how it will be able to marry its decarbonisation goals with its continued expansion plans.
Want to find out more about Amazon's net zero plans? Kara Hurst, vice president for worldwide sustainability at the company will be one of over 100 top speakers at the world's first Net Zero Festival this autumn. You can find out more about the festival and register your attendance here.
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