Amazon is purchasing 1,800 electric vehicles (EVs) from Mercedes-Benz Vans for its European last-mile delivery fleet almost one year after becoming the first signatory of the Climate Pledge — a commitment to meeting the goal of net zero annual carbon emissions 10 years earlier than the Paris Agreement. Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners are expected to have access to the new fleet of zero-emission vehicles by the end of 2020.
The bulk of the order, 1,200 EVs, will be Mercedes-Benz’s newest eSprinter commercial vans, and 600 will be its smaller model, the eVito. The two models “are ideally suited for the requirements of the courier-, express- and parcel-service industry for goods delivery on the so-called ‘last mile’ in terms of their equipment and range,” said Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans in a statement.
Mercedes-Benz also announced that it has joined The Climate Pledge, the first automaker to do so.
“We need continued innovation and partnership from auto manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz to decarbonize the transportation sector and tackle the climate crisis,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO in a statement.
“Amazon continues to contribute to the achievement of the EU Green Deal goals, foster technological innovation, and generate resilient and sustainable jobs in Europe,” said Fabio Massimo Castaldo, VP at the European Parliament in a statement.
Last September, Amazon inked a deal to buy 100,000 custom-built electric vans for its U.S. fleet. They will be manufactured by startup electric truck maker Rivian Automotive Inc., in which Amazon invested $700 million. Rivian expects to deliver the first 10,000 EVs for Amazon by 2022.
“The rise in e-Commerce is increasing demand for electric delivery vans,” said Tim Denoyer, VP and senior analyst at ACT Research in a New York Times interview. “And because of three factors — the short length of operation, the ability to return to a central base, and frequent stops and starts that work well with regenerative braking — the duty cycle works well with electric.”
According to BloombergNEF’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020, personal-use vehicles such as scooters, mopeds and motorcycles, as well as municipal buses, “are already going electric quickly and [will] accelerate further in the next 10 years. Delivery vans are the next segments to cross the tipping point.”