As Erie becomes 10th Colorado GoEV City/County, report highlights growing need to tackle delivery vehicle tailpipe pollution

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Some delivery companies making more progress than others to convert to electric vehicles

CoPIRG

DENVER — As a tenth Colorado municipality, Erie, commits to a 100% zero-emission transportation future, CoPIRG used a recent report to highlight the need for local governments and companies to tackle greenhouse emissions from parcel delivery vehicles, a growing source of air pollution in cities. 

The report, Parcel delivery on a warming planet, by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), an international think tank, found the number of delivery vehicles, already ubiquitous in Colorado neighborhoods, is expected to rise by 36% around the world in the next decade.  As the need to reduce pollution in the delivery vehicle sector grows, SOMO found differences in the electric vehicle and zero-emissions fleet goals by some of the largest delivery companies. 

“Clean air is critical for our quality of life in Colorado so we applaud Erie for stepping up as the 10th city and county to commit to zeroing out emissions from our vehicles, which is a leading source of air pollution and climate change,” said Alex Simon, advocate with CoPIRG. “One growing source of transportation pollution that we need to tackle is the tailpipe emissions from the increasing number of delivery trucks that drive up and down our neighborhood streets.”  

The SOMO report analyzed the efforts to tackle climate change of six of the largest international parcel companies that deliver packages to customer’s homes. Of the six, (Amazon, FedEx, Deutsche Post DHL Group (DHL), Flipkart, UPS, and Walmart), it found:

  • DHL was the most advanced in terms of electrifying its fleet. Amazon and FedEx have introduced smaller numbers of electric vehicles. UPS and Walmart have yet to introduce electric vehicles at scale. 
  • FedEx has set a target date of 2040 for full electrification of it’s delivery vehicle fleet, while Walmart plans to eliminate all emissions from its fleet by 2040. Amazon has set a partial net-zero emissions target, while UPS does not have a concrete fleet-related emissions goal. 
  • Amazon, FedEx and Walmart aim to achieve zero or net-zero emissions company wide by 2040. DHL and UPS have set 2050 as their target year.   

The SOMO report comes at a momentous time in Colorado as Erie become the 10th GoEV City and County, joining  Boulder County, Denver, City of Boulder, Summit County, City of Golden, City of Fort Collins, City of Longmont, Town of Vail, and the Town of Avon, all committed to transition to 100% zero-emission transportation in their communities. In total, 23 percent of Coloradans live in a GoEV City or County committed to zeroing out tailpipe emissions.   

According to SOMO, because of the crucial role cities and counties play around environmental and developmental policymaking, local governments can play a big role in encouraging and facilitating a more aggressive transition to zero-emission vehicles by delivery companies. For example, leading cities are providing financial incentives and better curbside access for cleaner electric-powered delivery vehicles, investing in electric charging stations and encouraging the use of electric-powered cargo bikes, and waiving fees or surcharges in designated low emission zones for electric-powered delivery vehicles. 

“In my neighborhood here in Denver, I don’t have to wait long before I see a couple of different delivery trucks driving down my street. With deliveries to our doors only expected to grow, cutting pollution from all these trucks is critical to cleaning up our air. We’re glad so many cities and counties in Colorado have committed to zero out tailpipe pollution. Now’s the time for even more to come forward and make the GoEV commitment. For those who have commitments, like Denver, we need to roll out policies that accelerate the use of electric-powered delivery trucks on our city streets,” said Simon.

The GoEV City and County campaign is a statewide coalition effort by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG), Conservation Colorado, Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER), Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), and Sierra Club. For more information – https://www.goevcity.org/ 

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CoPIRG is the Colorado Public Interest Research Group. CoPIRG is an advocate for the public interest. We speak out for a healthier, safer world in which we’re freer to pursue our own individual well-being and the common good. More at www.copirg.org 

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