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Delivery vans in London to be replaced by e-cargo bikes: Amazon

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To replace the thousands of van deliveries on London’s roadways, Amazon is deploying a fleet of e-cargo bikes and a unit of on-foot delivery personnel. With the construction of its first “micromobility” hub in East London’s Hackney, the online retailer will be able to achieve 5 million deliveries annually throughout roughly a tenth of the capital’s ultra-low emission zone postcode districts. It is expected that a number of partner companies, not directly by Amazon, would operate the bikes.

As part of its efforts to reduce its carbon emissions, Amazon wants to build more similar delivery hubs throughout the UK this year. Although the project is yet to be materialised, the company was selected as the partner for a cargo bike and on-foot delivery hub in the City of London’s London Wall car park in 2020.

UK country manager of Amazon, John Boumphrey said, “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.”

Cllr Mete Coban, Hackney council cabinet member for environment and transport, who welcomed the plan, said, “Tackling transport emissions is key if we’re to reach net zero. We’re really pleased to have worked with Amazon to support them to take traditional vans off the streets and replace them with e-cargo bikes. This will help to reduce emissions and improve air quality for people in Hackney and beyond.”

Amazon’s move comes as milk and beer deliverers, window cleaners, plumbers and DJs all get on their bikes as the result of the Government of UK’s incentives, new infrastructure and promises to reduce the carbon footprint of businesses.

According to the Bicycle Association, roughly 2,000 cargo bikes were sold in the UK for business use in 2020, and a similar number were sold for use by individuals and families. It’s expected that number increased significantly last year.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, specialist delivery services, such as Pedal Me and Velocious, have expanded rapidly. In order to make thousands of zero-emission deliveries into each city every day, Zedify has set up 10 mini-hubs on brownfield sites outside cities.

“Amazon would also install more than 30,000 solar panels on its facilities in Manchester, Coalville, Haydock Green, Wakefield, Bristol and Milton Keynes by the end of this year,” Boumphrey said.

This year, the company has confirmed 18 solar projects at its current UK sites, and by 2024, it expects to have more than doubled that number.

These projects come alongside an addition to a windfarm on Scotland’s Kintyre Peninsula and a further four planned including at Kennoxhead in South Lanarkshire.

Along with these projects, a wind farm on Scotland’s Kintyre Peninsula will receive an addition, and there are four more planned, including one at Kennoxhead in South Lanarkshire.

Image credit: Amazon

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