Amazon is accelerating its plans to reduce its eco impact with an order of 100,000 electric vans from American EV start-up Rivian.
Said to mark the largest-ever order of electric delivery vehicles, the vans will be used from 2021 to deliver packages to customers.
Amazon plans to have 10,000 of the new electric vehicles on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030; a move that will save four million metric tons of carbon per year by this date.
The announcement builds on the firm’s previous announcement of a $440m (€399m / £352m) investment in Rivian, which is headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan and has a manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois. The investment will accelerate the production of electric vehicles; last year saw Rivian unveil its modular ‘skateboard’ platform for EVs, which houses the braking, suspension, and cooling systems, with the battery in the middle. More recently, Rivian has secured $350m from Cox Automotive while it’s also working with Ford on a new EV for the carmaker as part of a $500m investment from Ford.
Amazon’s work to deploy Rivian’s electric vans is one of a number of new measures announced by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos as the firm becomes the first signatory of the Climate Pledge, which commits to net zero carbon by 2040 – a decade ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050.
“We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue – we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” said Jeff Bezos. “If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon – which delivers more than 10 billion items a year – can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can. I’ve been talking with other CEOs of global companies, and I’m finding a lot of interest in joining the pledge. Large companies signing The Climate Pledge will send an important signal to the market that it’s time to invest in the products and services the signatories will need to meet their commitments.”
Amazon has also stepped up its existing renewable energy commitments with a new pledge to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030 on its path to net zero carbon by 2040. The business is also launching the Right Now Climate Fund, committing $100m to restore and protect forests, wetlands, and peatlands around the world in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.