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Amazon orders 1,800 Mercedes electric vans for Europe deliveries

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Amazon has ordered 1,800 full-electric vans from Mercedes-Benz in the online retailer’s biggest commitment to date to cut the carbon footprint of its delivery operations in Europe.

A majority of the vans will go into service this year, Amazon said on Friday.

Amazon said it had ordered 1,200 of Mercedes-Benz’s large eSprinter vans and 600 of the midsize eVitos.

The order is the largest for Mercedes’s electric vehicles to date and includes 800 vans for Germany and 500 for the U.K.. It is dwarfed, however, by Amazon’s recent order for 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian Automotive, a startup it has invested in.

The Mercedes purchase makes it clear Amazon will also seek vehicles from other automakers to remove greenhouse gases from its delivery fleet.

Amazon is increasingly delivering shipments with its own staff or contractors instead of relying on major carriers.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement the Daimler agreement was part of the retailer’s “journey to build the most sustainable transportation fleet in the world.”

Mercedes on Friday joined The Climate Pledge, started by Amazon last year, which calls on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040. The automaker has previously said it was aiming to have a carbon neutral fleet by 2039.

In 2018, Amazon became the biggest customer of Mercedes’ non-electric Sprinter vans, securing 20,000 vehicles for delivery contractors.

“Moving forward, we are prioritizing the addition of electric vehicles,” Ross Rachey, Amazon’s director of global fleet and products for last-mile delivery told Reuters.

Other delivery companies are pushing for more electric fleets. In January United Parcel Service said it was ordering 10,000 delivery trucks from UK-based Arrival.

Other automakers are also working on bringing electric vans to market. Ford plans an all-electric version of its Transit van in North America in 2022, and General Motors aims to start production of an electric van in late 2021.

Bloomberg contributed to this report

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