Amazon announced Friday that it has ordered more than 1,800 electric vans from German automaker Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz unit as part of its bid to become carbon-neutral by 2040.
The company said the order consisted of 1,200 of Mercedes’ larger eSprinter models and 600 of its midsized eVito vans. It’s not clear how much Amazon paid for the vehicles.
Amazon said the move was part of its aim to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement a decade ahead of schedule. President Donald Trump infamously pulled the U.S. from the accord — which is designed to prevent global temperatures from rising over 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — back in 2017.
“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.”
Amazon has ramped up its investment into climate initiatives of late, launching a $2 billion venture capital fund to back companies developing climate technologies in June. It’s also not the first big order of electric vehicles the company has made — Amazon agreed to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian, a start-up in which it’s invested hundreds of dollars.
But the company’s logistics muscle has been a source of worry for the postal services industry. Traditional postage firms have been making investments of their own to challenge Amazon’s dominance and change with the times. UPS, for example, ordered 10,000 electric vans from U.K. start-up Arrival at the start of the year.
Amazon has benefited from wild growth in e-commerce during the coronavirus pandemic, as consumers flocked online amid government-enforced lockdowns. Bezos, Amazon’s billionaire founder, saw his wealth top $200 billion earlier this week thanks to a rise in the company’s share price. Amazon shares are up 84% year-to-date.