Amazon is launching five electric Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in its delivery fleet for the first time in the UK. The 37-tonne fully-electric vehicles are now operating from Amazon’s fulfilment centres in Tilbury and Milton Keynes, transporting customer packages with zero tailpipe emissions and using battery power. The five vehicles replace diesel HGVs, resulting in up to 100,000 annual road miles fuelled with renewable electricity instead of diesel, preventing 170 tonnes of CO2e from being emitted. They are the first of nine electric HGVs expected by the end of 2022, joining more than 1,000 electric delivery vans currently on the road in the UK.
Amazon’s first electric HGVs in the UK and Europe mark an important milestone towards the electrification of its fleet, forming part of Shipment Zero – Amazon’s goal to deliver 50% of shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030. Heavy goods vehicles make up around 16 percent of the UK’s domestic transport emissions. Amazon’s commitment will help play a role in reducing the carbon footprint of the UK transportation sector. Using the latest innovations in battery technology, the electric trucks will soon be using first-of-their-kind fast 360 kW electric charging points at Amazon’s Tilbury and Milton Keynes sites.
“Amazon is one of the first companies in the world to put electric heavy goods trucks on the road,” said John Boumphrey, Amazon UK Country Manager. “We’re committed to becoming net-zero carbon by 2040, and this is a milestone as we continue to decarbonise our transportation network so we can deliver more customer orders using zero emissions vehicles.”
Eelco van Veen, DAF Trucks Director Fleet Sales: “We are excited to bring the DAF CF Electric HGV into Amazon’s fleet and support their commitment towards The Climate Pledge. The DAF CF Electric truck represents an important step in the industry towards zero emission middle mile distribution.”
“This is further proof that the UK’s logistics sector continues to be at the forefront of efforts to electrify fleets and transition to zero emissions vehicles,” said Investment Minister Lord Grimstone. “Amazon’s introduction of its first-ever fully electric heavy goods vehicles in their UK fleet is fantastic news not only for their customers but for our wider efforts to end our contribution to climate change and transition to cleaner modes of transport.”
Trudy Harrison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport (DfT), said: “It is fantastic to see Amazon and the fleet industry playing its part in the UK’s world-leading plans to clean up our air, boost green jobs and decarbonise our vital transport network. Amazon plays a key role in transporting goods to towns and villages up and down the country and I’m pleased to see they are leading the way by going green. With the zero emission market now taking off for even the heaviest HGVs, we’ll be able to move more products around in a way that’s friendlier to our environment while supporting our net zero mission.”
Amazon continues to focus on reducing carbon emissions in middle mile transportation. This includes piloting a range of alternative delivery methods in collaboration with local partners, in order to increase efficiency and reduce emissions. In 2020, Amazon ordered battery electric trucks from Lion Electric in the US and began testing hydrogen-powered trucks, while also expanding multi-modal transport to reduce the emissions from road travel. Amazon is also evolving how it delivers packages to customers’ homes, and in 2021, it delivered more than 45 million packages in the UK by more sustainable transportation methods, such as electric vans or cargo bikes. Customers will see more zero emissions vehicles hitting the roads as Amazon continues to expand its fleet.
Amazon also continues to invest in skills development across the UK, with more than 1,000 apprenticeships created in 2021 – including Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability apprenticeships, which will deliver positive social and environmental impact – and more than 4,000 Amazon employees enrolled on the unique company-funded Amazon’s Career Choice training programme. Through Career Choice, 1,200 UK employees have studied IT and 1,400 have studied transportation, including more than 1,000 training to become heavy goods vehicle drivers. Amazon works with Accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK to identify and focus on regional skills shortages.
Since Amazon launched The Climate Pledge in 2019, the company has also continued to invest heavily in renewable energy. The company is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in Europe, with 3.5GW of renewable energy projects in Europe and 12 GW globally. Amazon is on a path to powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 – five years ahead of the original target of 2030.
While Amazon ramps up its initiatives to use zero emission vehicles, a recent report from Oliver Wyman, commissioned by Amazon, showed that shopping online results in 50% less greenhouse gas emissions than physical retail, and over four times less traffic with customers’ deliveries only representing 0.5 percent of total traffic in urban areas.
 UK Government Data (2019): “ENV0201” https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-and-environment-statistics-autumn-2021/transport-and-environment-statistics-autumn-2021; Raw data available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1040514/env0201.ods
 Oliver Wyman, “Is e-commerce good for Europe?” (April 2021): https://www.oliverwyman.com/our-expertise/insights/2021/apr/is-e-commerce-good-for-europe.html