Amazon Purchases 100K Electric Vans, UPS Approved for Drone Airline
Amazon Makes Largest Purchase of Electric Vehicles in History
Amazon just placed an order for 100,000 electric delivery vans – the largest purchase of electric vehicles in history. The vans were purchased from Rivian – Tesla’s largest rival – and are scheduled to hit roads in 2021.
CEO Jeff Bezos announced the deal as part of their Climate Pledge, a promise to significantly reduce their carbon emissions and “meet the Paris agreement 10 years early.” Amazon invested $440 million in the vehicles, and expects them to save 4 million metric tons of carbon per year by 2030.
The initiative was applauded by UN officials. “Bold steps by big companies will make a huge difference in the development of new technologies and industries to support a low carbon economy,” said former UN Climate Change Chief Christiana Figueres. “With this step, Amazon also helps many other companies to accelerate their own decarbonization. If Amazon can set ambitious goals like this and make significant changes at their scale, we think many more companies should be able to do the same and will accept the challenge. We are excited to have others join.”
UPS Gets FAA Approval for Drone Airline
In a recent press release, UPS announced that it is the first to gain official approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate a “drone airline,” allowing them to expand their small drone delivery service to the entire U.S.
The company will start by providing drone service to hospital campuses across the country, with plans to later expand beyond the healthcare industry. As soon as they were awarded FAA certification, UPS completed a delivery for WakeMed hospital in Raleigh, NC, making them the first commercial operator to perform a drone delivery for an actual paying customer outside of an operator’s line of sight.
This certification, officially called the “Part 135 Standard Certification,” provides a new level of freedom to companies who attain it. According to the release, it allows UPS to “fly an unlimited number of drones with an unlimited number of remote operators in command.”
“This is history in the making, and we aren’t done yet,” said David Abney, UPS chief executive officer. “Our technology is opening doors for UPS and solving problems in unique ways for our customers. We will soon announce other steps to build out our infrastructure, expand services for healthcare customers and put drones to new uses in the future.”
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