Latest updates in electric last mile delivery from Amazon and Asda

Date : 12 October 2020

Rachel Sibson

Retail Analyst

Amazon has launched its first custom electric delivery vehicle in the US in partnership with electric vehicle manufacturer, Rivian. Meanwhile, Asda has also launched a trial of a new form of electric assisted cargo bike.

Amazon’s first custom electric delivery vehicle

Amazon has launched the electric delivery vehicle as part of its Climate Pledge. The Climate Pledge was co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism as a commitment to reach the Paris Agreement ten years early and be zero net carbon by 2040. Amazon aims to launch 10,000 custom electric vehicles by 2022, increasing to 100,000 by 2030.

Source: Amazon

The electric vehicle includes Alexa integration to enable hands-free access to route information and the latest weather updates. It also features exterior cameras linked to a digital display for a 360-degree view outside the vehicle, as well as three levels of shelving with a strengthened bulkhead door for better security.  

Ross Rachey, Director of Amazon’s Global Fleet and Products, said: "When we set out to create our first customized electric delivery vehicle with Rivian, we knew that it needed to far surpass any other delivery vehicle. We wanted drivers to love using it and customers to feel excited when they saw it driving through their neighbourhood and pulling up to their home. We combined Rivian’s technology with our delivery logistics knowledge, and the result is what you see here-the future of last mile delivery.”

Asda’s Electric Assisted Vehicle (EAV) trial

Asda is trialling a new form of electric assisted cargo bike, enabling zero carbon deliveries for customers. The Electric Assisted Vehicle (EAV) has been trialled for two weeks at the retailer’s Cambridge store. The aim of the trial is to find a solution to reach customers living in proposed pedestrianised areas and zero emission zones where access for traditional delivery vehicles may be limited.

Source: Asda

The vehicle was developed by UK-based company Electric Assisted Vehicles and can hold 10 full totes of shopping, which equates to two customer orders. It is able to travel on roads as well as in cycle lanes and can reach speeds of 15mph, with limited peddling needed to maintain speeds.

Simon Gregg, Vice President of Online Grocery at Asda, said: “As we look to the future of retail we have to consider new and innovative ways to continue to offer great service to our customers whilst navigating things like low emission zones and pedestrianised areas. A solution such as this would allow us to get into town and cities where access is limited, using either roads or cycle lanes."

Looking for more insight?

Keep up to date with the latest developments at Asda and Amazon on our retailer hub pages.

Retail Analysis subscribers can explore five autonomous delivery examples from around the world in our COVID-19: autonomous ‘last mile’ delivery report.