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09/20/2022

Amazon continues shifting from fossil fuel with electrofuels deal

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon is purchasing electrofuels for its delivery fleet

Amazon is taking another step toward powering its delivery operations with renewable energy.

The e-tail giant, which recently signed an agreement with Plug Power to supply green hydrogen for its transportation and building operations, has now signed an agreement with renewable fuels technology company Infinium. Under the deal, Infinium will begin supplying Amazon’s transportation fleet with ultra-low carbon electrofuels beginning in 2023. 

Infinium is expected to initially supply enough electrofuels, which are a fossil-based fuel alternative created with carbon waste and renewable power, to begin powering Amazon trucks in lieu of diesel fuel for approximately 5 million miles of travel per year.

Amazon plans to initially use the electrofuels in trucks in its middle mile fleet in Southern California. Amazon’s middle mile fleet is responsible for moving customer orders from its vendors and fulfillment centers to its network of sortation and delivery stations.

To start, Infinium plans to build one of the world’s first electrofuels-production facilities in Texas. The facility will use renewable-power-generated green hydrogen and approximately 18,000 tons of recycled carbon waste per year to create the electrofuels.

Amazon previously invested in Infinium through its Climate Pledge Fund, $2 billion venture investment program that specifically invests in companies building technologies, products, and services that can help Amazon and others accelerate the path toward net-zero carbon future. Amazon has announced investments in a total of 18 companies through The Climate Pledge Fund to date.

[Read more: Amazon launches $2 billion fund to promote sustainability]

Amazon is committed to reaching net-zero carbon by 2040 as part of its commitment to The Climate Pledge. In addition to partnering with Infinium and Plug Power, other steps Amazon has taken toward net-zero carbon include purchasing 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian, the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles.

Chief Amazon rival Walmart also recently signed an agreement with Plug Power for an option to deliver up to 20 tons per day of liquid green hydrogen to power up to 9,500 material handling lift trucks across the discounter’s U.S. distribution and fulfillment centers.

“Infinium’s electrofuels can help Amazon reduce carbon emissions across our transportation fleet, which is important to both us and our customers, and will help us move closer to our goal of net-zero carbon by 2040,” said Kara Hurst, VP of worldwide sustainability at Amazon. “We’ve supported Infinium’s technology through our Climate Pledge Fund, and it’s exciting to see our investment turning into usable fuel that will help us, and others across the industry, decarbonize transportation in the long run.”

“Our agreement with Amazon to provide Infinium electrofuels for use in the company’s transportation network is a significant moment for all of us,” said Infinium CEO Robert Schuetzle. “We’ve been developing this technology for the better part of a decade, and we expect our electrofuels to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 95% over traditional fossil fuels. We’re thrilled to have the first fleet of Amazon trucks powered by electrofuels starting next year, which will mark the beginning of a major shift for the entire transportation sector.”