Amazon is rolling out electric-assist cargo delivery bikes in the UK. They’re expected to improve last-mile delivery and reduce carbon emissions. (Source: Amazon)

Amazon to Open ‘Micro-mobility’ Hub with Ebikes to Bolster Its U.K. Operations

A major goal post for any delivery service is the “last mile” completion of the order.  And Amazon, the Godzilla of delivery services is no different.

Last-mile delivery refers to the very last step of the delivery process when a parcel is moved from a transportation hub to its final destination—which, usually, is a personal residence or retail store. Amazon owns roughly 18% of the equity in an EV company called Rivian as part of a deal to procure 100,000 electric delivery vans. And though Rivian has had problems as of late, it may yet work out to everyone’s benefit. But that is a tale for another time. This week Amazon is thinking of e-carts and bicycles.

And it’s all kicking off in London, England according to a piece we found at this week, written by a reporter from PA Media, a British wire service.

Delivery drivers will ride e-cargo bikes and walk to customers’ homes and offices in central London, replacing thousands of traditional van journeys on the city’s congested roads. Amazon will electrify its fleet with 1,000 electric vans now on U.K. roads, as it strives to deliver half its shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030 and all by 2040.

John Boumphrey, Amazon’s U.K. country manager, 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.”

The need for electricity to power up ebikes and vehicles is leading Amazon to add more than 30,000 new modular solar panels on its facilities in England. It is also replacing diesel trucks with five 37-ton electric heavy goods vehicles.

Amazon, however, has yet to open one of its U.S. stations. Work appears to have stalled on an Amazon “last mile” distribution center at the former Kmart shopping center on Wilson Road in Bakersfield, California, nine months after the $20 million project was supposed to start operating. The company has yet to request a city inspection for a certificate of occupancy allowing distribution work there to begin.

Touted by the city in April 2021 as a boost to the local economy and a sign of Bakersfield’s business-friendly approach to development, 200 employees were expected to be added. Amazon operates two much larger distribution centers in Oildale, and Shafter, California.