Amazon Chooses Volvo VNR Electric as First Class 8 BET in US

VNR Electric Tractors to Roll Out Across Southern California Drayage, Middle-Mile Operations
Amazon Volvo VNR Electric drayage trucks
Amazon’s VNR Electric drayage trucks are set to transport containers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to a company facility in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. ( Inc.)

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E-commerce giant Inc. plans to deploy 47 Volvo VNR Electric tractors across its Southern California operations, its first Class 8 battery-electric trucks.

Seattle-based Amazon plans to use 12 of the tractors for drayage operations based out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, a spokeswoman told Transport Topics on May 8. The remaining 35 will be part of Amazon’s middle-mile fleet, she said. A further 20 heavy-duty electric trucks are set to be used elsewhere in the U.S., the spokeswoman said. The company already has rolled out 25 in Europe.

Amazon ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest logistics companies in North America and No. 1 on the TT Top 50 Global Freight carriers list. It also ranks No. 9 on the TT Top 100 private carriers list.

The drayage trucks will be Amazon ocean freight operations’ first electric trucks and some are already operating out of the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, with a dozen expected to be on the road by the end of the year, the company said in a May 7 blog.

Amazon’s VNR Electric drayage trucks are set to transport containers from the ports to a company facility in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., where items are prepared for the middle-mile leg of the freight’s journeys. Amazon’s middle-mile fleet moves orders among fulfillment centers, sorting centers, air facilities and delivery stations.

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The company said it had installed 45 direct current fast chargers across 11 sites to power the trucks.

Udit Madan


“We’re proud to launch our largest fleet of electric heavy-duty vehicles yet in California,” said Udit Madan, vice president of worldwide Amazon operations. “Heavy-duty trucking is a particularly difficult area to decarbonize, which makes us all the more excited to have these vehicles on the road today.”

“We’ll use what we learn from deploying these vehicles as we continue to identify and invest in solutions to reduce emissions in our transportation network, and to impact sustainability in the trucking industry more broadly,” Madan added.

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“California continues to lead the way in setting world-leading climate goals. No other state has created the kind of environment where Amazon and other businesses can lead on sustainability and take major steps forward like deploying this fleet of electric trucks,” added Gov. Gavin Newsom. “California’s climate action continues powering our economy and creating jobs.”

Trucks at Port of Los Angeles

Trucks entering and exiting the Port of Los Angeles, one of the sites where Amazon is deploying Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric trucks. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg News)

Ahead of introducing the Volvo trucks to its operations, Amazon began rolling out Class 8 electric yard tractors in 2019 and said it now has more than 140 of those trucks moving trailers at sites in the U.S. Amazon also operates more than 13,500 electric step vans in its last-mile fleet.

Amazon aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

A total of 470 VNR Electric tractors are currently on the road, including the initial Amazon rigs, a Volvo Trucks North America spokesman told TT on May 9. That total includes 41 tractors to be deployed by 4 Gen Logistics, a drayage company based in Southern California, VTNA said in a 6 May statement.


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Rialto, Calif.-based 4 Gen Logistics will use the electric tractors to haul freight throughout the Inland Empire and between the Port of Long Beach and distribution warehouses in the region. The company previously deployed a VNR Electric in 2022 as part of the Volvo LIGHTS development project.

“We have more than 15,000 miles on our first Volvo VNR Electric that was deployed in 2022. Driver feedback has been extremely positive and played a crucial role in our decision to invest in additional Volvo VNR Electric trucks to support our commitment to operating a 100% zero-tailpipe emission fleet by 2025,” 4 Gen Logistics Owner David Duncan said. “Drivers are adapting quickly to the battery-electric trucks and improving their range each week as they learn to use the regenerative braking.”

Charging of the trucks will take place at the Port of Long Beach and at 4 Gen Logistics’ Rialto headquarters. The company’s VNR fleet logs up to 240 miles per shift on two shifts per day.

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