The coronavirus pandemic caused delivery activity to surge in 2020, with truck volumes exceeding 2019 levels on average while passenger car traffic fell. But that increase in road activity means more pollution, as heavier-duty trucks emit higher levels of greenhouse gases than passenger vehicles.
In this regard, Amazon.com has ordered more than 700 class 6 and class 8 trucks powered by CNG as it tests ways to shift its U.S. fleet away from heavier polluting trucks, the company told Reuters. The online retailer’s sales rose 38% in 2020; it plans to run a carbon neutral business by 2040.
“Amazon is excited about introducing new sustainable solutions for freight transportation and is working on testing a number of new vehicle types including electric, CNG and others,” the company said in a statement.
For this new clean fuel heavy duty truck fleet that will run from warehouses to distribution centers, Amazon has also ordered more than 1,000 natural gas engines, which will be supplied by a joint venture between Cummins Inc. and Westport Fuel Systems Inc. These engines can operate on both renewable and non-renewable natural gas.