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Amazon buys 1,800 electric Mercedes delivery vans for its EU fleets

Jill Petzinger
·Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2 min read
KOBERN-GONDORF, GERMANY - JUNE 29: A general view of an Amazon warehouse is pictured during the coronavirus pandemic on June 29, 2020 in Kobern-Gondorf near Koblenz, Germany. The Verdi labor union has called for strikes at six Amazon warehouse across Germany in order to put pressure on the company over an ongoing disagreement over pay as well as improving workplace conditions to help prevent outbreaks of the coronavirus. Approximately 40 Amazon employees tested positive recently for Covid-19 infection at an Amazon warehouse in Bad Hersfeld. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
An Amazon warehouse near Koblenz, Germany. June 29, 2020. Germany is Amazon's largest market outside the US. Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Amazon (AMZN) announced on Friday it is buying 1,800 electric vans from Mercedes-Benz (DAI.DE) for its European delivery fleets, as part of its goal to be carbon-neutral by 2040.

Chief executive Jeff Bezos said the Mercedes order was part of Amazon’s "journey to build the most sustainable transportation fleet in the world."

The online retail giant said it will put the 1,200 Mercedes e-Sprinters and 600 eVitos into its fleets by the end of the year. Five hundred of the e-vans will go into service in the UK, and 800 of them in Germany.

In September 2019, Amazon signed a contract to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian, a US electric-vehicle startup backed by Amazon and Ford (F), by 2030.

Delivery giants everywhere are moving towards electrifying their fleets, including UPS (UPS), which is taking 10,000 electric vans from Arrival in the UK. Big car companies like General Motors (GM) and Ford also have electric delivery trucks in the pipeline.

Mercedes on Friday signed Amazon’s Climate Pledge, which calls on companies to commit to being carbon neutral by 2040.

READ MORE: Easing of lockdown measures bumps business confidence

Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL (DPW.DE) in 2014 got tired of waiting on the big car companies to launch e-vans, bought a startup called StreetScooter, and launched their own fully electric postal vans a few years ago. By 2017, it already had around 5,000 electric pickups, vans, bikes, and trikes on the roads of Germany.

Germany is Amazon’s second-biggest global market after the US. The e-commerce company is currently under investigation by Germany’s federal cartel office into whether it has abused its market dominance to harm third-party sellers on its platform in Germany.

Andreas Mundt, president of the cartel office, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper that his office had received complaints that Amazon had blocked some sellers at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, alleging that their prices were too high.