Amazon’s Largest Fleet of HD Electric Trucks Rolls Across Southern California


Retail commerce giant Amazon is investing in electric vehicles worldwide, and the company is now rolling out nearly 50 heavy-duty electric trucks in Southern California — its largest fleet of these EVs anywhere so far. This launch is an important step in Amazon’s work toward decarbonizing every step of delivery across first, middle and last mile.

The fully electric trucks will haul cargo containers and customer packages in first- and middle-mile operations, joining the hundreds of last-mile electric vans already delivering packages across California. Combined, these trucks are expected to travel more than one million miles each year with zero tailpipe emissions.

First mile, or global logistics, is where goods are moved from where they are manufactured, through customs, across oceans, into ports and then into a fulfillment network. Electric drayage trucks have started hitting the road at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with a dozen expected by the end of 2024. The electric drayage trucks transport containers from the ports to an Amazon facility in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., where items are prepared for the next leg in their journey — middle mile.

Trucks in middle mile move customer orders between Amazon’s fulfillment centers, sort centers, air facilities and, finally, delivery stations, where packages are loaded into last-mile vans to be delivered to customer doorsteps. The company has deployed 35 electric heavy-duty vehicles in Southern California and installed over 45 direct current (DC) fast chargers across 11 sites to power the trucks.

“We’re proud to launch our largest fleet of electric heavy-duty vehicles yet in California,” says Udit Madan, vice president of Worldwide Amazon Operations. “Heavy-duty trucking is a particularly difficult area to decarbonize, which makes us all the more excited to have these vehicles on the road today. We’ll use what we learn from deploying these vehicles as we continue to identify and invest in solutions to reduce emissions in our transportation network, and to impact sustainability in the trucking industry more broadly.”

The battery electric Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric trucks have a range of up to 275 miles and a gross combination weight of 82,000 pounds. These heavy-duty vehicles are equipped with safety features including active collision mitigation, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.

“Within Amazon’s operations the Volvo VNR Electric will provide zero-tailpipe-emissions transportation across a variety of different applications efficiently and sustainably,” says Keith Brandis, vice president, partnerships and system solutions, Volvo Group North America. “The Volvo VNR Electric was built on the already proven regional haul VNR platform, which makes it well-suited for drayage and middle-mile operations, particularly in areas of dense population and moderate to heavy traffic volumes.”

Advancing toward its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, Amazon has been operating electric yard tractors since 2019 and now has over 140 moving trailers around its U.S. sites. In 2022, it launched its custom electric delivery vans from Rivian and has rapidly scaled over the past two years, rolling out more than 13,500 nationwide.

Amazon also is investing in alternative fuels including green hydrogen and biofuels to reduce carbon emissions in its trucking and maritime operations. It has invested in companies including Amogy and Infinium through The Climate Pledge Fund to help spur innovation and support sustainable technologies and services.

New York-based technology startup Amogy is developing an ammonia-to-power system that is emission-free at the point of use and may eventually be used to power heavy-duty transportation. Infinium, a renewable-fuels technology company, has developed a fossil-based fuel alternative created with carbon waste and renewable power, and Amazon will begin powering some of its vehicles with these low-carbon electrofuels.

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