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How Two Major Online Retailers are Driving for Lower Emissions
Two of the largest American retailers are introducing electric vehicles to make deliveries a bit more earth-friendly.
Walmart has agreed to reserve 5,000 electric delivery vans from BrightDrop – this aims to reduce the strain of its ever-growing last-mile delivery network and reduce carbon emissions. The retailer currently has the goal to operate a zero-emission logistics fleet by 2040.
“As important as it is that we save our customers time and money through convenient delivery options, it’s just as important that we focus on creating a more sustainable last-mile delivery fleet that avoids emissions,” said Tom Ward, the SVP of Last Mile for Walmart. “BrightDrop’s proven ability to bring a sustainable electric van to market makes them a great partner to support our growing InHome delivery service, and we look forward to [continuing] driving our goal of operating a 100 percent zero-emissions logistics fleet by 2040.”
Walmart will use these vans as part of its InHome delivery service, which has recently been expanded. The service, which was tested in several US states in 2019, allows customers to order groceries online and have them delivered to their fridges. Delivery drivers will wear a bodycam as they enter the shopper’s home, thus allowing customers to watch the process from their phones. The subscription service is $19.95 per month, and bridges the gap for customers who want to order groceries online but can’t be home for the delivery person to arrive.
In a similar fashion, Amazon will also be introducing another round of electric vehicles to reach a similar net-zero goal. Last week, the retailer shared it would be the first commercial customer of Stellantis, adding its electric Ram ProMaster van to its fleet. Of course, this isn’t the first round of electric vehicles added to its fleet.
In 2019, Amazon shared its goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, kicking off the target with an order of 100,000 electric delivery trucks from Rivian. These vehicles are expected to reach Amazon’s warehouses by 2024. However, according to the business, approximately ten trucks were expected to arrive by the end of 2021 and will be in use this year. Amazon is serious about its goals – in September 2021, the US giant acquired roughly a 20 percent stake in Rivian, just before it filed for an IPO the following month.
“We always knew that our ambitious sustainability goals in our last mile operations would require multiple electric delivery van providers,” read a statement from Amazon. “We continue to be excited about our relationship with Rivian, and this doesn’t change anything about our investment, collaboration, or order size and timing.”
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