Amazon has invested in charging infrastructure at two facilities in South East England to power the new vehicles with renewable electricity.
Amazon’s new 27-tonne trucks will operate from fulfilment centres in Tilbury and Milton Keynes. They are the first entirely electric HGVs in Europe for the online store.
DAF’s CF Electric vehicle, with a 350kWh battery pack and a maximum range of 155 miles, was picked by Amazon. The vehicle also has regenerative brakes; when the driver applies the brakes, an electric motor acts as a generator, producing energy for storage in the battery pack. This increases range and makes the brakes more durable.
Since the new trucks will replace five diesel trucks, Amazon anticipates a 170-tonne decrease in its yearly greenhouse gas emissions footprint as a result of their innovation. Its Tilbury and Milton Keynes facilities are already powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, which will be used to charge the HGVs. To serve the new cars, Amazon has placed 360kW rapid charging connections at the locations.
Amazon plans to add nine fully-electric HGVs to its UK fleet by the end of 2022, after the launch of five DAF CF Electrics.
Amazon’s head of sustainability external outreach Ella Mason shared the news on LinkedIn, saying, “Five years ago, I distinctly recall being in a manufacturing policy roundtable where I listened through an entire presentation explaining why HGVs will never be totally electric.”
“Five years later, we have our first five entirely electric HGVs in our UK fleet this week.” Consider the larger picture.”
As a general rule, the larger the vehicle, the more difficult it is to electrify. Only a few firms in Europe have gone past the experimental stage with pure-electric HGVs, including Sainsbury’s.
Several members of the UK government, notably Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport Trudy Harrison MP, have applauded Amazon’s announcement. “Amazon plays a critical role in carrying goods to towns and villages across the country, and I’m delighted to see they’re leading the way by turning green,” Harrison added. With the zero-emission market for even the biggest HGVs finally taking off, we’ll be able to move more items in a more environmentally friendly manner while supporting our net-zero aim.”
Amazon’s main climate objective is to become a zero-emissions company by 2040. This goal was unveiled in 2019 after years of agitation by environmental groups and Amazon employees.
Amazon’s efforts to fulfil this aim will centre on decarbonizing road transportation. In the United Kingdom, the firm has already deployed over 1,000 electric delivery vehicles. In 2021, electric vans and e-cargo bikes delivered more than 45 million parcels in the United Kingdom.
EV rollouts are less far down the road in the United States, Amazon’s largest market. In 2020, the firm committed to buy 100,000 electric delivery cars, and testing began in 2021 in collaboration with Rivian. Amazon also disclosed intentions in 2021 to purchase up to 2,500 pure electric vehicles from Canadian manufacturer Lion Electric by 2025.
It is worth noting that Amazon is still under pressure to increase its 2040 climate target and supporting measures.
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