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The retail giant plans to operate a carbon-neutral business by 2040.
Amazon Inc. plans to incorporate hundreds of trucks run on compressed natural gas in a bid to ease away from its fleet of gasoline-run vehicles that add to the pollution levels.
The Pandemic has led to a surge in supply chain activities to fulfill the online orders that have gone up manyfold across the world. This means an increase in heavy-duty vehicle traffic, which emit high levels of greenhouse gases that are detrimental to the environment. In the US freight is delivered through medium and heavy-duty trucks, which account for nearly 20 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions. With governments mulling stricter emission norms for all kinds of vehicles and considering the climate change impact that has led to increasing in bush fires in the US, a transition to greener fuel is inevitable. A lot of legacy automakers have committed to turning to EVs in the coming years.
“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,” Amazon stated in a press release.
The company has ordered more than 700 Class 6 and Class 8 compressed natural gas trucks.
In the US freight is delivered through medium and heavy duty trucks, which account for nearly 20 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions.
The company has witnessed a boom in business in the last year with a 38 percent increase in sales. Amazon plans to operate a carbon-neutral business by 2040.
The engines in the natural gas trucks will be supplied by Cummins Inc. and Westport Fuel Systems Inc. in collaboration with its heavy-duty trucks that run from warehouses to distribution centers.
The engines can run on both renewable and non-renewable natural gas, revealed a source speaking for the company.
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 environment-friendly but at the moment the technology is not cost-efficient and the infrastructure for fueling and recharge is also not fully functional. Hence, electric motors are considered less viable for heavy trucks than for the average passenger vehicle.
A 2019 report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) linked vehicle emissions to 385,000 premature deaths worldwide in 2015, with the cost of the health impacts from vehicle emissions calculated at approximately $1 trillion USD. Large inefficient diesel truck engines contribute 39% of the transport sectors’ greenhouse gas emissions, which equates to about 5% of all global fossil fuel-derived CO2 emission.
In 2019, Amazon ordered 100,000 electric vans from startup Rivian Automotive LLC. The vans will be used for last-mile delivery to the customers.
Other companies are transitioning to electric vehicle deliveries too. The United Parcel Service Inc. recently announced plans to buy more than 6,000 natural gas-powered trucks over three years) as part of a $450 million investment to reduce the environmental impact of its 123,000-vehicle fleet.
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