The new Amazon electric vans ordered from Mercedes-Benz are the tech firm’s latest effort to achieve their goal of carbon neutrality by 2040.
There are over 1,800 Amazon electric vans from German automaker Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz unit. According to the company’s announce, the order includes 1,200 of Mercedes’ larger eSprinter models and 600 of its midsized eVito vans.
However, the amount paid by Amazon for the vehicles remains unknown.
In its announcement, Amazon said the order was part of its effort to reach the targets of the Paris climate agreement a decade ahead of schedule. The agreement aims to stop global temperatures from increasing over 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
“We welcome the bold leadership demonstrated by Mercedes-Benz by signing up to The Climate Pledge and committing to ambitious action to address climate change,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“We need continued innovation and partnership from auto manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz to decarbonize the transportation sector and tackle the climate crisis,” he said.
Amazon has bolstered its investment into climate initiatives of late, introducing a $2 billion venture capital fund to support companies creating climate technologies in June. The new Amazon electric vans are not the first huge order of electric vehicles the company has sealed. The company also agreed to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from start-up Rivian.
However, the company’s logistics arm has become a source of concern for the postal services industry. Traditional postage company have been investing in new transport to challenge Amazon’s services and cope with the times. UPS ordered 10,000 electric vans from UK start-up Arrival at the start of 2020.
Meanwhile, Amazon has recorded growth due to the rise of e-commerce during the coronavirus pandemic, as consumers opted to shop online amid lockdowns imposed by governments.
With this, the company implemented several efforts to respond to the needs of the times. For example, they installed thermal cameras to detect coronavirus symptoms among workers in its warehouses in the UK and globally.
An Amazon spokesman said: “We implemented daily temperature checks in our operations locations as an additional preventative measure to support the health and safety of our employees, who continue to provide a critical service in our communities.”
“We are now implementing the use of thermal cameras for temperature screening to create a more streamlined experience at some of our sites,” the spokesman added.
An internal memo from e-commerce giant Amazon has revealed that the company is also tracking data on the number of coronavirus cases inside its warehouses.
The revelation from the internal memo demonstrates that Amazon has been closely examining coronavirus data at its warehouses despite previously claiming that the data itself “isn’t particularly useful”.
The memo indicated that the Shakopee facility, known as MSP1, has an infection rate of 1.7%, which is notably higher than the five local counties surrounding the facility.
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Cheeseman said: “Nothing is more important than the safety of our teams. We have redeployed a large number of our data scientists, technologists, and operations employees to focus on Covid-19 and ensure the safety of our workforce, including thousands of individuals on our health and safety teams.”
While others are laying off workers, the e-commerce giant has announced its plan to hire 3,500 additional workers in cities across the US as part of its expansion initiative amidst the pandemic.
The new workers will be part of office expansions in New York, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix and San Diego, which will entail over 905,000 square feet of additional office space and $1.4 billion in investment.