Amazon has launched the UK’s first ‘micro-mobility hub’ with the aim of swapping ‘thousands’ of polluting delivery trucks for electric cargo bikes – and in some cases, walking. The project It aims to help Amazon meet its climate goals to be 50 percent of deliveries carbon-neutral by 2030.
Starting in London’s Hackney borough, the company says it will deliver 1 million packages a year using electric cargo bikes and walking, as well as deliveries made with electric trucks. Amazon said its delivery workers on foot and e-bikes will help offset “thousands” of traditional bus trips.
Carbon-neutral trips will take place within a tenth of London’s ultra-low emissions zone, where vehicles are charged based on the amount of emissions they produce. Electric bikes and electric vehicles are exempt from duty.
Amazon said it plans to open additional hubs in the coming months. The company already operates 1,000 electric delivery trucks in the UK, and has plans to introduce a new Rivian lineup in the US later this year (depending on Rivian’s ability to meet those orders).
Electric cargo bikes, especially those designed to look like pickup trucks, are growing in popularity among delivery companies looking to improve their environmental credentials. FedEx also uses e-bikes in London (emissions cost!), while Domino has partnered with Rad Power Bikes to deliver pizza in two cities. UPS used cargo bikes in Seattle. German delivery company DPD wants to use this pickup trucks which are actually compelling e-bikes. In New York City, e-bikes are used almost exclusively by food delivery workers.
Amazon hasn’t released any details about what they call their “electronic assistance vehicles,” even though they look a lot different than most of the traditional cargo bikes out there. If anything, they look like the pickup trucks first proposed by DPD, designed by a startup called Eav, or SUV “eQuad” Used by UPS.
But we have yet to witness the widespread deployment of charging e-bikes by any delivery company. If Amazon sticks to it and actually delivers on its promise, the company’s micro-movement effort in the UK could be a first.