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Largest Amazon heavy duty electric truck fleet hits the road

The 35 new Volvo electric trucks are working to provide first mile logistics services around two key Amazon US ports

Logistics giant Amazon has announced its largest ever fleet of heavy-duty electric trucks have officially hit the road, completing first mile logistics tasks at major US ports.

The brand’s first ever electric trucks in its ocean freight operations, also known as drayage trucks, have hit the road at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with a dozen expected by the end of 2024.

These electric drayage trucks are transporting containers from the ports to Amazon’s Santa Fe Springs, California facility to prepare for the middle mile journey.

The order includes 35 electric heavy-duty vehicles being deployed in southern California, with more than 45 DC fast chargers set up across 11 sites.

“We’re proud to launch our largest fleet of electric heavy-duty vehicles yet in California,” Worldwide Amazon Operations vice president Udit Madan says.

“Heavy-duty trucking is a particularly difficult area to decarbonise, which makes us all the more excited to have these vehicles on the road. We’ll use what we learn from deploying these vehicles as we continue to identify and invest in solutions to reduce emissions in our transportation network and to impact sustainability in the trucking industry more broadly.”

US governor Gavin Newsom says California is leading the way in the nation’s climate goals, allowing Amazon and other businesses to take major steps in their decarbonisation journeys.

“California’s climate action continues powering our economy and creating jobs,” Newsom says.

The battery-electric Class 8 Volvo VNR electric trucks have a range of up to 442 kilometres and a gross combination weight of just over 37 tonnes. The heavy-duty vehicles come with the latest safety features, including active collision mitigation, blind-spot detection and lane departure warning.

“Within Amazon’s operations, the Volvo VNR Electric will provide zero-tailpipe-emissions transportation across a variety of different applications efficiently and sustainably,” Volvo Group North America vice president of partnerships and system solutions Keith Brandis says.

“The Volvo VNR Electric was built on the already proven regional haul VNR platform which makes it well suited for drayage and middle-mile operations, particularly in areas of dense population and moderate to heavy traffic volumes.

“We are thrilled to work with Amazon’s expansive fleet on their electromobility transition and help to pave the way for a more efficient and sustainable future.”

On top of this, Amazon is also investing in alternative fuels like green hydrogen and biofuels to reduce carbon emissions in its trucking and maritime operations.

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