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Amazon Invests in Low-Carbon Electrofuels and 71 Renewable Energy Projects

Amazon is making moves to green its footprint.

The e-commerce giant has signed an agreement with renewable fuels technology company Infinium to begin powering its transportation fleet with ultra-low carbon electrofuels beginning in 2023.

Infinium is expected to initially supply enough electrofuels–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. The agreement is a step forward in Amazon’s commitment to transition its transportation network away from fossil fuels and deliver packages to customers in more sustainable ways.

Amazon plans to initially use the electrofuels in trucks in its middle mile fleet in Southern California, where they are expected to help serve millions of customers. 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.

Amazon noted that the transportation sector currently accounts for about 25 percent of all carbon emissions globally, according to the United Nations, and Infinium is working to change that by developing ultra-low carbon fuels that can be used to power cargo trucks, airplanes and marine freight without engine modifications.

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, which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, to create the electrofuels.

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Amazon previously invested in Infinium through The Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon’s $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 a net-zero carbon future. Smazon has announced investments in 18 companies through The Climate Pledge Fund.

“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, vice president 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.”

Infinium CEO Robert Schuetzle the agreement with Amazon is a significant moment.

“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 percent over traditional fossil fuels,” Schuetzle said. “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.”

In addition to partnering with Infinium, Amazon has taken other significant steps toward net-zero carbon. It signed an agreement with Plug Power to supply 10,950 tons per year of green hydrogen for its transportation and building operations starting in 2025. It will soon start to use green hydrogen to replace grey hydrogen, diesel and other fossil fuels as it works to decarbonize its operations, and this green hydrogen supply contract will provide enough annual power for 30,000 forklifts or 800 heavy-duty trucks used in long-haul transportation.

Through The Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon invested in Electric Hydrogen and Sunfire, two of the most promising developers of electrolyzers, a key technology that makes emissions-free green hydrogen for use in heavy duty transportation. The e-commerce giant has also ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian, marking the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles. Amazon’s custom electric delivery vehicles from Rivian started to hit the road this summer in the U.S., with thousands expected to be making deliveries in more than 100 major U.S. cities by the end of this year.

Separately on Wednesday, Amazon announced it was expanding its renewable energy portfolio globally, with an additional 2.7 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy capacity across 71 new renewable energy projects. This includes the company’s first renewable energy project in South America–a solar farm in Brazil–and its first solar farms in India and Poland. Once fully operational, Amazon’s global renewable energy portfolio will generate 50,000 GW hours of clean energy.

“We are bringing new wind and solar projects online to power our offices, fulfillment centers, data centers and stores, which collectively serve millions of customers globally, and we are on a path to reach 100 percent renewable energy across our entire business by 2025,” said Adam Selipsky, CEO of Amazon Web Services.

As the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy globally, Amazon now has a total of 379 renewable energy projects across 21 countries, including 154 wind and solar farms and 225 rooftop solar projects, representing 18.5 GW of renewable energy capacity. By the end of 2021, the company had reached 85 percent renewable energy across its business.

In North America, Amazon is adding 1 GW of clean energy capacity across the Southeastern U.S., including the company’s first two renewable energy projects in Louisiana. The company now has a total of 202 projects across North America.