That quantity is rising rapidly. Amazon is a number of years — and tens of billions of {dollars} — into an enormous push to ship packages, shifting away from counting on giant carriers like UPS. To start the growth, Amazon ordered 20,000 diesel Sprinter vans from Mercedes-Benz.

Through its community of contractors, Amazon now delivers greater than half of its orders globally, and way more within the United States. Amazon has six occasions as many supply depots now because it did in 2017, with no less than 50 p.c extra new services set to open this yr, in accordance with knowledge from MWPVL, a logistics consultancy.

That logistics growth, accelerated by the pandemic’s shift to on-line purchasing, multiplies the challenges the corporate faces in assembly its pledge to cut back its local weather affect. Its vow to make half of its deliveries carbon-neutral by 2030 is a part of the corporate’s broader pledge to be net-carbon-neutral by 2040.

“Electrification of their delivery fleet is a really important part of that strategy,” stated Anne Goodchild, who leads the University of Washington’s work on provide chain, logistics and freight transportation.

Delivery vans are properly suited to electrical propulsion as a result of they normally journey 100 miles or beneath in a day, which implies they don’t want giant battery packs that add to the price of electrical vehicles. Delivery vans are sometimes used in the course of the day and might be recharged in a single day, and normally require much less upkeep than gasoline vans. Electric autos don’t have transmissions and sure different mechanical parts that put on out rapidly within the heavy stop-and-go typical in supply routes.

In September 2019, when Mr. Bezos introduced Amazon’s big Rivian order — the biggest ever order of electrical autos — he positioned it as central to Amazon’s dedication to cut back its carbon footprint. At the time, he stated he anticipated the 100,000 vans to be on the highway “by 2024.”

Amazon invested no less than $1.3 billion in Rivian, which Amazon says is meant to make 10,000 vans as early as this yr. Amazon additionally locked up unique rights to Rivian’s industrial vans for 4 years, with the precise of first refusal for two years after that. The firms have been testing the vans for nearly a yr.

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