Amazon in major solar push as it launches micromobility hub

Global giant Amazon is to rollout its first UK micromobility hub which will see the use of. E-cargo bikes and walkers for more sustainable deliveries in Central London.

The hub comes alongside a programme of large scale solar panel installations at facilities based in Manchester, Coalville, Haydock, Bristol and Milton Keynes before the end of this year, to help power those facilities with renewable energy.

Amazon will double the number of on-site solar energy projects in the UK by 2024.

Working with the London Borough of Hackney, Amazon said it had created the new hub with plans to make more than one million customer deliveries every year, adding to the millions of deliveries already being completed by its electric vans. The new fleet of e-cargo bikes and walkers will directly replace thousands of traditional van trips on London’s roads and reduce traffic congestion.

Amazon has over 1,000 electric delivery vans on the road in the UK, and last year helped the company deliver more than 45 million packages. Its fleet of zero emission vehicles will expand further as more e-cargo delivery hubs are expected to launch across UK in the coming months. The company also recently announced five new fully electric Heavy Goods Vehicles. These 37-tonne vehicles are among the first in the UK, the first in Amazon’s fleet, and replace traditional diesel trucks.

“Amazon is driving towards a global net-zero carbon future. One way we’re doing that is through the transformation of our transportation networks. Our new e-cargo bikes, walkers and growing electric vehicle delivery fleet will help us make more zero emission customer deliveries than ever before across London and the UK in the coming months,” said John Boumphrey, UK country manager, Amazon. “Doubling the number of on-site solar projects at our facilities across the UK further demonstrates our ambition to power our operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 and represents an important step on our journey to be net-zero carbon by 2040.”

UK transport minister Trudy Harrison said: “Industry and Government are both working hard to achieve our net zero goals and support the growth of sustainable transport that will help create economic opportunities and support thousands of jobs across the UK. Amazon’s plans will not only boost green job opportunities but ensure that customers will continue to receive their packages while working to protect our planet from climate change.”

The company also unveiled its plans to have more than 30,000 new modular solar panels installed on its facilities in Manchester, Coalville, Haydock, Bristol and Milton Keynes by the end of the year.

Amazon confirmed 18 on-site solar projects in the UK and plans to more than double the number of projects by 2024.

“This investment supports Amazon on its path to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 – five years ahead of its 2030 commitment,” it added. “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.”

Amazon is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the UK and worldwide.  It added the on-site solar energy projects are in addition to five, utility-scale UK renewable energy projects enabled by Amazon.

The first recently commissioned wind project, Amazon Wind Farm Scotland – Beinn an Tuirc 3, on the Kintyre Peninsula in Scotland, will soon be followed by the Amazon Wind Farm UK – Kennoxhead (Phase 1). The remaining projects are under development and will begin operating in the coming years. These include the Moray West Wind Farm located off the coast of Scotland, the largest corporate commitment to a renewable energy project in the UK to date.

“These initiatives move the company closer to its Shipment Zero mission – to deliver 50% of Amazon shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030 – and the ultimate goal of being net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement,” It added.

UK energy minister Greg Hands welcomed the announcement.

“It is great to see Amazon taking the lead in moving away from expensive fossil fuels,” he added. “This is a fantastic vote of confidence from Amazon in British energy security, renewables and electric vehicles, and a huge boon for green jobs across the UK.”