Amazon e-cargo bikes

Amazon is launching a fleet of e-bikes and electric vans to make last-mile deliveries in Central London as it looks to boost the sustainability of its service.

The new electric vehicles will make five million deliveries a year to premises within the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone. The company says this will replace thousands of traditional van deliveries trips.

The e-cargo bikes are a lot like rickshaws, but will instead be carrying parcels instead of people, and are a first for Amazon in the UK.

They’ll join good old fashioned ‘walkers’ according to Amazon and, yes, that does sound a lot like old fashioned postmen and women. Of course, all of these deliveries will be exempt from London’s congestion charges.

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To assist with those goals, the company is also adding more solar panels to its sites across the UK. That’ll include 30,000 new modular solar panels in Manchester, Coalville, Haydock, Bristol and Milton Keynes by the end of 2022.

“The company has confirmed 18 on-site solar projects in the UK and plans to more than double the number of projects by 2024,” an About Amazon blog post reads.

“This investment supports Amazon on its path to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 – five years ahead of its 2030 commitment. Once operational, the new rooftop solar panel projects are expected to produce more than 13,000 MWh of electricity, enough to power the equivalent of more than 3,500 UK homes each year.

As well as helping Amazon with a nice bit of environmental PR, the new bikes and vans will also make it easier to make those purchases from Amazon – which will probably still show up in a box too big – without the pangs of guilt that invariably come from clucking the buy button and putting another vehicle is on the road.

It’s not clear whether they’ll be out on the road for Prime Day 2022 though.

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