Technology

To reduce pollution, Amazon is adding 50 electric trucks to its delivery fleet

Amazon is deploying 50 battery-electric heavy-duty trucks in California, which it says is the largest fleet of its kind in the country. The company says the new trucks represent an important step in its mission to eliminate pollution from its global operations CO2 emissions have risen sharply in recent years.

Amazon says the trucks will be integrated into first-mile operations, in which goods are transported from container ships in the ports to logistics centers, and middle-mile operations, in which packages are transported from logistics centers to delivery centers. From there, the packages are loaded into Amazon’s last-mile fleet, some of which are electric delivery vans from the manufacturer Rivian.

The heavy-duty trucks are manufactured by Volvo VNR, a division of the Swedish automaker that produces Class 8 tractor units. Volvo makes several models with a range of up to 275 miles, a battery capacity of 565 kWh and a 0 to 80 percent charging time of 90 minutes. Towing capacity can be up to 66,000 pounds depending on the model, although battery range will likely be negatively affected if more weight needs to be towed.

Some of the new trucks will be used as part of Amazon’s drayage fleet, transporting goods unloaded from cargo ships at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the fulfillment center in Santa Fe Springs, California. A dozen trucks are expected to be put into service this year.

For middle-mile services, Amazon expects to use 35 electric trucks to ship goods between fulfillment centers and a number of different locations, including sorting centers, flight facilities and delivery centers. From there, the packages are picked up by Amazon delivery trucks for their final journey.

“We are proud to launch our largest fleet of electric heavy-duty vehicles to date in California,” Udit Madan, vice president of Amazon global operations, said in a statement.

Of course, most of the trucks and vans that deliver your Amazon, FedEx, and UPS packages run on fossil fuels. Many companies are planning to electrify their fleets, but the actual number of true electric vehicles on the road today is tiny.

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