Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer and has a large carbon footprint regarding its nationwide network of fulfillment centers and delivery vehicles that transport packages from warehouse to warehouse and the last mile: to the customer’s doorstep.
By 2030, the company has promised to have at least half of its shipments considered carbon-neutral and increase the use of renewable energy.
When examining the environmental impact of Amazon, the company is a massive emitter of carbon emissions. Its transportation network involves vans, trucks, and airplanes to transport packages.
In September 2019, Amazon founder and then-CEO Jeff Bezos declared war on climate change by announcing his company “just placed an order for 100,000 electric delivery vans” produced by Rivian. He said Amazon has ambitions to be entirely carbon neutral by 2040.
The first Rivian vans are “hitting the road in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis, among other cities,” according to Amazon on Thursday.
Amazon said customers across the US would begin to see “thousands” of Rivian vans by the year’s end and expect 100,000 in metro areas by 2030.
“Fighting the effects of climate change requires constant innovation and action, and Amazon is partnering with companies who share our passion for inventing new ways to minimize our impact on the environment. Rivian has been an excellent partner in that mission, and we’re excited to see our first custom electric delivery vehicles on the road,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon.
Amazon has been testing Rivian preproduction vans since 2021 and has delivered over 430,000 packages. “This significant testing has allowed Rivian to continuously improve the vehicle’s performance, safety, and durability in various climates and geographies as well as its state-of-the-art features to ensure driver satisfaction and overall functionality,” Amazon said in a press release.
During the testing, we noted Amazon raised questions about the EV vans: Rivian Shares Plunge After Amazon Agrees To “Significant” EV Van Deal With Stellantis and Rivian Tumbles After Report Amazon Testing “Reveals Questions About Battery Power, Cameras.”
However, there’s a significant problem we’ve spotted. The massive EV rollout over the coming years will require considerable investments in the power grid to boost spare power capacity through new generation sources (such as solar and wind nuclear) to meet soaring power demand.
For instance, last week, power demand in Texas hit a record, and spare grid capacity was limited, forcing state grid operator ERCOT to call for conservation to prevent blackouts. Meanwhile, Tesla asked customers in the state not to charge EVs during peak demand times.
If power grids aren’t modernized during corporate fleets transitioning from fossil fuels to EVs — then power grids across the country could become unstable, just like in Texas.