If you live in the UK and expecting an Amazon delivery, you may have to listen closely to know when your package will arrive at your door. This is because the company has started using electric bikes with cargo facilities like a mini-truck to make deliveries in the country.
Your online shopping is about to get greener with retail giant Amazon launching a micro-mobility hub in the UK. The company wants to replace thousands of its gas-powered delivery trucks with zero-emission electric bicycles. These are no ordinary bikes as they come with cargo space. However, Amazon will also make use of foot-powered deliveries. The two initiatives are parts of Amazon’s drive to cut the carbon emission of its delivery operation by half by 2030.
The new electric cargo bikes are starting operation in the Hackney borough of London. The service will deliver 1 million packages per year, including walking and electric van deliveries. This will eliminate the need for thousands of trips that would have been made by internal combustion engine buses.
However, the electric mobility delivery will take place in locations that coincide with London’s ultra-low emissions zone. In these areas, drivers are charged a fee corresponding to the level of greenhouse gases they generate. Of course, electric bicycles and vehicles are free from the emission tax.
Amazon will expand the delivery service by opening more micro-mobility centers. It has 1,000 electric vans on the UK roads already making deliveries. But it will import new electric vans made by Rivian (in which it is a major investor) in the US, depending on how fast Rivian can fulfill the order. Amazon set a record by ordering 100,000 electric vans from Rivian some years ago. The EV maker has been struggling to manufacture the battery-powered delivery vans.
It would be nice to know the technical details of Amazon’s electric cargo bicycles, but the company has not released such information. However, the bikes appear much different from the traditional cargo bikes that other companies use. But they do look like the mini-trucks revealed by DPD, which were designed by a startup known as Eav.
Amazon is not the only company experimenting with making deliveries with electric bikes. FedEx, for example, has been trying to improve its sustainability image by putting its delivery workers inside electric cargo bikes in London. It is just as well that these companies can avoid the emissions tax too.
Domino’s is also using Rad Power electric bikes to make pizza deliveries in multiple cities. UPS has deployed electric bikes bearing packages in Seattle in the US, while DPD in Germany is using mini-trucks that are actually glorified electric bicycles.
New York City is popular for its numerous food dispatchers riding electric bikes.
Meanwhile, the race is still on for which company will deploy electric bikes on a large scale. Amazon can snag that crown if it sticks to its plans to roll out more battery-powered bicycles across the UK.