- “Amazon is excited about introducing new sustainable solutions for freight transportation and is working on testing a number of new vehicle types including electric, CNG and others,” the company said in a statement on Friday.
- Much of the country's cargo is delivered via medium and heavy trucks, which account for more than 20 percent of the industry's greenhouse gas emissions
- In 2019, Amazon ordered 100,000 electric vans from startup Rivian Automotive LLC
The Global E-Commerce Giant, Amazon Inc has revealed that it has ordered hundreds of trucks that run on compressed natural gas as it tests ways to remove the largest polluting vehicles in its US fleet. Amazon has since began acquiring fleets of electric vehicles to reduce pollution by generally cutting on their carbon emissions.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, home deliveries significantly rose in 2020, with truck traffic volumes averaging higher than 2019 levels, while passenger car traffic dropped. That increase in road activity thus translates to increased levels of pollution as heavy trucks emit higher levels of greenhouse gases than passenger vehicles.
Much of the country’s cargo is delivered via medium and heavy trucks, which account for more than 20 percent of the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions despite accounting for less than five percent of the highway fleet , according to federal data from the United States.
“Amazon is excited about introducing new sustainable solutions for freight transportation and is working on testing a number of new vehicle types including electric, CNG and others,” the company said in a statement on Friday.
According to a statement released by Amazon, the company has So far ordered more than 700 Class 6 and Class 8 compressed natural gas trucks.
Sales of the online retailer, which has got plans to operate a carbon-neutral business by 2040, increased 38 percent in 2020.
The engines, supplied by a joint venture between Cummins Inc and Westport Fuel Systems Inc, will be used for Amazon’s heavy-duty trucks that run from warehouses to distribution centers.
The supplier has ordered more than 1,000 engines that can run on both renewable and non-renewable natural gas, according to a source familiar with the ongoings therein.
Natural gas emits about 27 percent less carbon dioxide when burned compared to diesel, according to the United States Energy Information Administration.
Electric motors are considered less viable for heavy trucks than for the average passenger vehicle.
In 2019, Amazon ordered 100,000 electric vans from startup Rivian Automotive LLC. This year the company will receive the first of these vans, which will be used for the delivery of goods to customers.
The company also ordered 1,800 electric vans from Mercedes-Benz for its European delivery fleet.
Other transportation companies are also experimenting with ways to reduce emissions.
In 2019, United Parcel Service Inc announced plans to buy more than 6,000 natural gas-powered trucks over three years and step up purchases of renewable natural gas (RNG) as part of a $450 million investment to reduce the environmental impact of its 123,000-vehicle fleet.
RNG and natural gas from fossil fuel are both methane gases and can be used interchangeably. RNG is derived from decomposing organic matter such as cow manure on dairy farms, discarded food in landfills and human waste in water treatment plants. It also prevents naturally occurring methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – from being released into the environment.