The arrival of Amazon’s electric Heavy Goods Vehicle fleet in the UK is an important step for the company’s goal to achieve a net-zero carbon status by 2040.
For the first time in the UK, Amazon is launching five electric Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV’s) in its delivery fleet. The 37-tonne fully electric vehicles (EVs) are now operating from Amazon’s fulfilment centres in Tilbury and Milton Keynes, transporting customer packages with zero tailpipe emissions and utilising battery power.
The five vehicles have replaced diesel HGVs, resulting in up to 100,000 annual road miles fuelled with renewable electricity instead of diesel, preventing 170 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted. They are the first of nine electric HGVs expected to be unveiled by Amazon by the end of 2022, joining more than 1,000 electric delivery vans currently on the road in the UK.
Amazon’s electric Heavy Goods Vehicle fleet
Amazon’s first electric HGVs in the UK and Europe signifies Amazon’s objective to electrify their delivery fleet, forming part of ‘Shipment Zero’ – which is Amazon’s goal to deliver 50% of shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030.
Amazon’s commitment will help in the global effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation sector. Making use of the latest innovations in battery technology, the electric Heavy Goods Vehicles are scheduled to utilise the first-of-their-kind fast 360 kW electric charging points at Amazon’s Tilbury and Milton Keynes sites.
“Amazon is one of the first companies in the world to put electric heavy goods trucks on the road,” commented John Boumphrey, Amazon UK Country Manager. “We are committed to becoming net-zero carbon by 2040, and this is a milestone as we continue to decarbonise our transportation network so we can deliver more customer orders using zero emissions vehicles.”
“This is further proof that the UK’s logistics sector continues to be at the forefront of efforts to electrify fleets and transition to zero emissions vehicles,” added Investment Minister, Lord Grimstone. “Amazon’s introduction of its first-ever fully electric heavy goods vehicles in their UK fleet is fantastic news not only for their customers but for our wider efforts to end our contribution to climate change and transition to cleaner modes of transport.”
Reducing carbon emissions in transport sector
Amazon intends to continue focusing on reducing carbon emissions in middle mile transportation. This includes piloting a range of alternative delivery methods in collaboration with local partners, in order to increase efficiency and reduce emissions.
In 2020, Amazon ordered battery electric trucks from Lion Electric, in the US, and began testing hydrogen-powered trucks, while also expanding multi-modal transport to reduce the emissions from road travel. Amazon is also evolving how it delivers packages to customers’ homes, and in 2021, it delivered more than 45 million packages in the UK by more sustainable transportation methods, such as electric vans or cargo bikes. Customers will see more zero emission vehicles hitting the roads as Amazon continues to expand its fleet.
Trudy Harrison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport (DfT), said: “It is fantastic to see Amazon and the fleet industry playing its part in the UK’s world-leading plans to clean up our air, boost green jobs, and decarbonise our vital transport network. Amazon plays a key role in transporting goods to towns and villages up and down the country and I am pleased to see they are leading the way by going green.
“With the zero emission market now taking off for even the heaviest HGVs, we will be able to move more products around in a way that is friendlier to our environment while supporting our net zero mission.”
Amazon skills development plan
Amazon also remains to invest in skills development across the UK, with more than 1,000 apprenticeships created in 2021. This includes the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability apprenticeships, which will deliver positive social and environmental impact. As well as this, more than 4,000 Amazon employees also enrolled on the unique company-funded Amazon’s Career Choice training programme.
Through Career Choice, 1,200 UK employees have studied IT and 1,400 have studied transportation, including more than 1,000 training to become heavy goods vehicle drivers. Amazon works with Accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK to identify and focus on regional skills shortages.
Since Amazon launched The Climate Pledge in 2019, the company has also continued to invest heavily in renewable energy. The company is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in Europe, with 3.5GW of renewable energy projects in Europe and 12 GW globally. Amazon is on a path to powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 – five years ahead of the original target of 2030.