Haverhill’s Amazon distribution center is rolling out 80 fully electric delivery vans—one of only a handful of company sites across the state to do so.
Jon Greeley of Amazon’s economic development team, told a group of local officials yesterday the company has 10,000 electric vehicles across the country and its goal is to have 100,000 thousand electric delivery vehicles on the road by 2030 across its entire network.
“We have electric vehicles on the road delivering for our customers every single day and it has been going on throughout 2023. It is not only that we’re delivering for our customers, but we’re delivering for our customers in an environmentally sensitive way,” he said.
Gathered at the Amazon complex in the Broadway Business Park, Greeley pointed to the various charging stations—both slow and fast—that were also added at the site. He explained that fast-charging units take only 30 minutes to provide a van with enough charge to last 145 miles. Slower chargers remain important because they create less wear on the battery, increasing its longevity. For the time being, he added, the company also uses 120 petroleum-fueled vans.
Mayor James J. Fiorentini, who sat in the driver’s seat of one of the vehicles and was briefed on high-tech features, pointed out that contrary to perceptions, electric vehicles will soon rule the roads.
“People are talking about electric vehicles being here in 10 years. They’re here right now at Amazon. I couldn’t believe it when you told me earlier, 80 electric vehicles out there right now. These are not tiny, little cars, these are trucks. They’re operating right now, today. The future is here,” the mayor said.
Besides the mayor, the city’s delegation included Fire Chief Robert M. O’Brien, who noted his department must review any necessary precautions in the event of fires or accidents; City Councilor Catherine P. Rogers; Community Development Director Andrew K. Herlihy; and Assistant Economic Development Director Pamela Price.
Amazon opened its new Haverhill distribution site a little more than two years ago after the space was vacated by Southwick Clothing, a manufacturer of Brooks Brothers suits, that declared bankruptcy during the pandemic.
“We thought that the world had come to an end when Southwick and Brooks Brothers left, but now we have roughly the same number of jobs. We thrilled to have you. Thank you,” the mayor told Amazon staff.
Driver trainer Nicole Paradis gave visitors tours of the Rivian vans, showing safety features and state-of-the-art technology inside.