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Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Amazon announced Friday it will add more than 1,800 battery-powered Mercedes-Benz vans in Europe this year, continuing its push toward electrification of its delivery fleet.

The big picture: Amazon is shipping more of its own products, relying less on major carriers, and the Mercedes purchase makes it clear the giant online retailer favors vehicles that will help remove greenhouse gases from its delivery fleet.

  • In 2019, Amazon announced The Climate Pledge to run a carbon neutral business by 2040.
  • Besides logging its largest electric vehicle order to date, Mercedes said it will also join the pledge.

Flashback: Last year, Amazon ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from electric vehicle startup Rivian.

  • The first 10,000 Rivian vans are expected to start delivering Amazon packages in 2021 and all 100,000 vehicles will be on the road by 2030.

Go deeper

The workaday path to the electric vehicle era

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.

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