Amazon to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans for 2040 carbon neutrality plan
Amazon will purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from startup Rivian as part of its newly announced plan to go carbon-neutral by 2040.
The announcement from the world’s largest retailer comes as environmental activists raise concerns about the climate and waste impacts of its fast-growing delivery network. As part of its plan, announced by CEO Jeff Bezos today, Amazon will also increase its renewable energy usage from 40 percent to 100 percent by 2030 and contribute $100 million to The Nature Conservancy to restore forests and other wild lands.
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Under the Rivian agreement, the Michigan-based startup will design a custom electric delivery van for Amazon and the fleet will be delivered between 2021 and 2024. Amazon earlier this year invested $700 million in the electric vehicle company, which also has an agreement with Ford to develop an electric F-150 pickup truck, but does not have any production models.
The announcement is the first major commitment for electric delivery vehicles in the U.S. Analysts say their adoption could represent a watershed moment for electrified transport because large orders would build economies of scale for automakers and force utilities to learn how to manage fleets of electric vehicles.
Amazon’s announcement comes after more than 4,200 employees called on the company this spring to commit to reduce its carbon footprint. The group tweeted today that it is “thrilled at what workers have achieved,” but said Amazon still has work to do in “halting its support of the fossil fuel industry, stopping donations to climate-denying politicians and think tanks, and stopping enabling the oppression of climate refugees.”