Amazon launches e-cargo bike delivery hub in London

The e-commerce giant is aiming to deliver 50% of its shipments using net-zero carbon methods by 2030. As international shipping and aviation are more challenging to decarbonise than road transport, Amazon has been investing in electric road transport for short-term emissions reductions while backing longer term R&D on aviation and maritime. Earlier this year, Amazon launched its first five pure electric HGVs in the UK

Within cities like London, electric micromobility is particularly important, given the Capital’s 2030 net-zero target and its clean air targets. Businesses also see electric mobility as a way to minimise costs by avoiding Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) costs. Around 2,000 e-cargo bikes were sold in the UK for commercial use by the Bicycle Association’s figures.

Amazon’s new e-cargo bikes will be kept at a dedicated micromobility hub in Shoreditch. edie inquired as to how many bikes will operate out of this hub but this information is not being made public. Amazon will be using learnings from this hub to launch other locations in other UK cities in the near future.

With the first e-cargo bike hub, plus its existing fleet of electric delivery vans and on-foot delivery workers, Amazon estimates that it will make more than five million zero-emission last-mile deliveries in central London each year from 2023.

Hackney Council’s cabinet member for the environment and transport, Cllr Mete Coban, said: “Tackling transport emissions is key if we’re to reach net-zero. We’re really pleased to have worked with Amazon to support them to take traditional vans off the streets and replace them with e-cargo bikes. This will help to reduce emissions and improve air quality for people in Hackney and beyond.”

Spotlight on solar

To coincide with the e-cargo bike announcement, Amazon has also confirmed plans to add utility-scale solar panel projects at its facilities in Manchester, Coalville, Haydock, Bristol and Milton Keynes by the end of the year. It has not disclosed the capacity of each project. Amazon is notably aiming to reach 100% renewable electricity for operations by 2025.

This move has been welcomed by Energy Minister Greg Hands who called it a “fantastic vote of confidence in British energy security”, which can be boosted by businesses “taking the lead in moving away from expensive fossil fuels”.

But the UK Government’s Energy Security Strategy notably includes new supporting measures for expanding North Sea fossil fuel production as well as for low-carbon sectors like nuclear and offshore wind. We will find out this month whether the Strategy will also serve as a means for the Government to lift a ban on fracking, which it has said it will do if there is new scientific evidence on preventing tremors.

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