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Amazon Launches Their Largest-ever Fleet of Heavy-duty Electric Trucks across Southern California

Amazon Launches Their Largest-ever Fleet of Heavy-duty Electric Trucks across Southern California

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Heavy-duty electric trucks are now rolling out across Southern California, including Amazon’s first electric trucks in our ocean freight operations.

Customers in Southern California may soon begin spotting the newest additions to Amazon’s electric fleet on the road. Amazon is investing in electric vehicles around the world, and we are now rolling out nearly 50 heavy-duty electric trucks in the region—our largest fleet of these vehicles in any country so far. This launch is an important step in our work toward decarbonizing every step of delivery across first, middle, and last mile. The fully electric trucks will haul cargo containers and customer packages in our first- and middle-mile operations, joining the hundreds of last-mile electric vans already delivering packages across the state. Combined, these trucks are expected to travel more than 1 million miles each year with zero tailpipe emissions.

First mile, or global logistics, is where goods are moved from where they are manufactured, through customs, across oceans, into ports, and then into our fulfillment network. Our first-ever electric trucks in our ocean freight operations, also known as drayage trucks, have started hitting the road at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with a dozen expected by the end of the year. The electric drayage trucks transport containers from the ports to an Amazon facility in Santa Fe Springs, California, where items are prepared for the next leg in their journey—middle mile.

Trucks in middle mile move customer orders between Amazon’s fulfillment centers, sort centers, air facilities, and, finally, delivery stations, where packages are loaded into last-mile vans to be delivered to customer doorsteps. We’ve deployed 35 electric heavy-duty vehicles in Southern California and have installed over 45 direct current (DC) fast chargers across 11 sites to power the trucks.

We’re proud to launch our largest fleet of electric heavy-duty vehicles yet in California,” said Udit Madan, vice president of Worldwide Amazon Operations. “Heavy-duty trucking is a particularly difficult area to decarbonize, which makes us all the more excited to have these vehicles on the road today. We’ll use what we learn from deploying these vehicles as we continue to identify and invest in solutions to reduce emissions in our transportation network, and to impact sustainability in the trucking industry more broadly.

California continues to lead the way in setting world-leading climate goals. No other state has created the kind of environment where Amazon and other businesses can lead on sustainability and take major steps forward like deploying this fleet of electric trucks,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “California’s climate action continues powering our economy and creating jobs.

Driving with zero tailpipe emissions—safely and efficiently

The battery-electric Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric trucks have a range of up to 275 miles and a gross combination weight of 82,000 pounds. The heavy-duty vehicles are also equipped with safety features including active collision mitigation, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. Drivers are excited about these electric trucks, highlighting their impressive power, significantly lower noise levels, and ergonomic cab design.

Within Amazon’s operations the Volvo VNR Electric will provide zero-tailpipe-emissions transportation across a variety of different applications efficiently and sustainably. The Volvo VNR Electric was built on the already proven regional haul VNR platform which makes it well suited for drayage and middle-mile operations, particularly in areas of dense population and moderate to heavy traffic volumes,” said Keith Brandis, vice president, partnerships and system solutions, Volvo Group North America. “We are thrilled to work with Amazon’s expansive fleet on their electromobility transition and help to pave the way for a more efficient and sustainable future.”

Our zero-emission fleet continues to grow as we invest in solutions across our operations to help us achieve our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. Amazon has been operating electric yard tractors since 2019 and now has over 140 moving trailers around our sites in the U.S.—one of the largest fleets in the country. In 2022, we launched our custom electric delivery vans from Rivian and have rapidly scaled over the past two years, rolling out more than 13,500 across the country.

Investing in alternative fuels

In addition to bringing more electric vehicles to the road, we are investing in alternative fuels like green hydrogen and biofuels to reduce carbon emissions in our trucking and maritime operations. Amazon has invested in companies like Amogy and Infinium through The Climate Pledge Fund to help spur innovation and support the advancement of sustainable technologies and services. New York-based technology startup Amogy is developing an ammonia-to-power system that is emission-free at the point of use, and may eventually be used to power heavy-duty transportation, such as cargo shipping. Infinium, a renewable-fuels technology company, has developed a fossil-based fuel alternative created with carbon waste and renewable power, and we will begin powering some of our vehicles with these low-carbon electrofuels.

Amazon also founded the Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA) alongside The Aspen Institute, Patagonia, and Tchibo to enable companies to access zero-emission shipping solutions that are not currently available. We are taking important steps forward together with other cargo owners to unblock challenges, accelerate solutions, and create the demand needed to help decarbonize maritime shipping.

Creating jobs with renewable energy projects across California

Amazon has a number of sustainability initiatives in California to help reduce emissions and support communities where we operate. We have 58 renewable energy projects in the state that will help Amazon reach our goal to match 100% of the electricity our operations use with renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of the initial 2030 target. We have a growing number of buildings seeking the International Living Future Institute’s low-carbon building certification known as “Zero Carbon Certification,” including a Same-Day site and three Amazon GO stores located in California, and have donated $200,000 to The Bay Foundation to help support kelp reforestation in the Santa Monica Bay.

Related Article: Amazon’s global plastic footprint might be shrinking, but the US is a different story

Since 2010, Amazon has created more than 153,000 full- and part-time jobs in California and invested more than $142 billion across the state, including infrastructure from fulfillment centers, Whole Foods Market locations, and two tech hubs. These investments have contributed an additional $135 billion to the California economy and support 311,000 indirect jobs—in addition to those the company has directly created—in fields like construction, logistics, retail, and professional services. Currently, more than 82,000 independent sellers in California—most of which are small and medium-sized businesses—are selling in Amazon’s store.

Read more about ways Amazon is working to decarbonize our transportation network.

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