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Infinium’s electrofuels to power Amazon’s middle mile

Amazon has been investing heavily in alternative fuel and energy companies in recent years as part of its goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. The e-commerce giant’s most recent agreement will secure low-carbon, drop-in fuels for its trucking fleet.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced Wednesday it has entered an agreement with renewable electrofuels provider Infinium, which Amazon invested in early in 2021.

Infinium will supply Amazon with enough ultra-low carbon electrofuels to power Amazon’s transportation fleet for approximately 5 million miles a year beginning in 2023.

The electrofuels will initially be used in the middle mile of Amazon’s operations in Southern California. The middle mile of transportation is responsible for moving customer orders from vendors and fulfillment centers to sorting and delivery stations.

“Our agreement with Amazon to provide Infinium electrofuels for use in the company’s transportation network is a significant moment for all of us,” said Infinium CEO Robert Schuetzle. “[This] is a strong testament to the many ways electrofuels will help transform commercial transportation for all industries and is a huge step forward in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions on our planet.”

How electrofuels are created

Infinium plans to build “one of the world’s first electrofuels-production facilities” in Texas. The facility will use approximately 18,000 tons of recycled carbon dioxide annually and combine it with green hydrogen to create the electrofuels. 

Green hydrogen is produced by using renewable energy to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. The sustainability of electrofuels hinges on using electricity generated from renewable sources to create them. 

The carbon dioxide that Infinium uses as an input for its electrofuels is captured from sources that would have otherwise released it into the atmosphere.

“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,” Schuetzle said. 

Unlike other alternative fuel options in the trucking industry, electrofuels don’t require costly up-front capital investments in new vehicles. Infinium’s electrofuels can be used in the engines of ocean vessels, aircraft and trucks without any modifications. 

Schuetzle said the company expects its electrofuels to reduce GHG emissions by about 95% compared to fossil fuels.

“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,” Kara Hurst, vice president of worldwide sustainability at Amazon, said in a news release.

Amazon explores various alternative fuel options

Amazon, along with NextEra Energy, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and AP Ventures, is an investor in Infinium. But Amazon isn’t putting all of its eggs in one basket.

In August, Amazon entered into an agreement with Plug Power to supply 10,950 tons of green hydrogen annually for transportation and building operations starting in January 2025.

The company also invested in Electric Hydrogen and Sunfire, two promising companies in the green hydrogen industry.

Amazon ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian and tested them in San Francisco in 2021. They began hitting the roads this summer, and thousands more are expected to show up in 100 major U.S. cities by the end of the year.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

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