This week saw online retail behemoth, Amazon, place an order for 100,000 electric trucks from luxury EV start-up, Rivian.
The order rumoured to worth between $3.5 and $5 billion dwarfs previous orders made for EV trucks from leading brands such as Pepsi, Walmart, FedEx, UPS and DHL.
Amazon hopes to have the first electric trucks in its fleet on the road by 2021, with a full fleet of 100,000 expected to be in service between 2024 and 2030.
Amazon’s order, and stake in the start-up, is likely to prove invaluable to Rivian when it looks to develop the AI needed to power autonomous vehicles. Amazon’s recent investment in self-driving start-up Aurora Innovation certainly supports this theory.
Whatever you may think about Amazon, this is a smart move, for both their company and our environment.
Many companies with large fleets have been trapped in a sticky situation recently. Electric vehicles are incredibly enticing to fleet managers, but the refuelling infrastructure for larger vehicles is not as widespread as many fleet managers would like. As a result, we have a situation where fleet managers are calling for more charging infrastructure, and the operators of refuelling stations are asking for more electric vehicles on the road. Someone had to make the first move.
Enter, Jeff Bezos.
Amazon’s order came during a week which saw millions take to the street in a global climate strike. It is clear people want to see this change, and in light of Amazon’s move, we now need to see pressure applied to those procrastinating on such a move. Less talk and more orders are what we want. If the vehicles are ordered, the infrastructure will follow.
So, which companies have been put on alert? Who needs to play catchup?
DHL has over 90,000 vehicles and an order 10 Tesla Semi trucks.
FedEx has 85,000 vehicles, and an order for 20 Tesla Semi trucks.
UPS has 123,000 vehicles, and an order for 125 Tesla Semi trucks.
Walmart has 6,000 vehicles and has ordered 45 Tesla Semi trucks.
Pepsi has 40,000 vehicles, and an order for 100 Tesla Semi trucks.
There are countless other national and multinational companies with large fleets operating globally who could follow suit and step up their EV game. Companies such as AT&T, Verizon, Coca-Cola, Royal Mail, SYSCO, Wincanton, and Tesco all own and operate thousands of vehicles which leave a large carbon footprint.
The world’s richest man, and the worlds number one online retailer, just bought 100,000 electric vehicles. Every other billion and trillion-dollar company in the world must now play catch up. In a digital age where everyone is trying to keep up with the Joneses, Jeff Bezos may just have catapulted us many miles forward on the road to zero.