Amazon prepares to go electric in a big way with delivery vans at Racine County hub | Local News

YORKVILLE — Amazon Inc.’s commitment to electric vehicles might make headlines on Wall Street, but the company’s hub in Racine County is becoming where the rubber meets the road.

Amazon has won approval from the Village of Yorkville to install almost 400 new electric-vehicle charging stations at its delivery center in the Grandview Business Park overlooking Interstate 94.

This would be a significant change in EV charging infrastructure in the state. According to tracking from EV Adoption, as of September 2021, Wisconsin still had fewer than 900 total charging ports in the state and fewer than 15,500 electric vehicles.

Plans submitted to the village indicate that Amazon could have its eye on a system ultimately capable of charging as many as 760 electric vehicles.

See Amazon’s plan for Yorkville



Bezos

Although the logistics giant is not saying much about its Yorkville plans, local officials are excited that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his team are bringing electric-vehicle technology to western Racine County.

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“It’s too soon to tell if it’s the wave of the future,” Yorkville Village President Doug Nelson said, “but it certainly seems to have its niche.”

Click here to see the full proposal submitted by Amazon to build a Racine County electric-vehicle charging operation large enough to power about 400 vehicles.

Amazon spokeswoman Kate Scarpa said the company would not discuss its proposed Yorkville site for electric vehicles, including the question of how large a geographic area will be served.

Amazon has several large distribution operations in Kenosha County and Racine County.

Scarpa noted that Seattle-based Amazon has struck a deal to put 100,000 electric-powered delivery vans into service by 2030 as part of the company’s pledge to be free of carbon emissions by 2040. Some prototype electric vans already are being tested in select markets , although Scarpa would not say if that includes Wisconsin.

“We’re working to electrify delivery stations across the country this year and over the next several years to help us support a zero-emissions fleet,” she said in a statement.

Amazon moved into Yorkville’s Grandview Business Park last year with a facility that local economic development officials estimated would bring in 50 delivery trucks a day and would dispatch 268 delivery vans.

Located at 1925 W. Grandview Parkway immediately west of Interstate 94 and three miles north of the Illinois border, the hub is part of Amazon’s vast network of logistics and distribution services for online shopping and other ecommerce.

The New York Times reported earlier this year that Bezos, one of the world’s richest people, is intent on building the world’s largest electric-vehicle fleet and charging network.

Amazon last year posted $33 billion in profit on sales of $469 billion, up from $21 billion in profit and sales of $386 billion the previous year.

Mario Denoto, president of the Greater Union Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, said he welcomes Amazon’s electric vehicle plan as a positive sign of business growth.

Denoto questioned how much electrical power it would take to charge 400 vehicles at a time.

But he added: “If they think electrical vehicles will work for them, I’m all for it. Let’s go. Business is what makes the world go around.”

The proposal calls for precisely 399 charging stations, and the application seeking approval from Yorkville officials indicates that the charging stations and related equipment could be installed within 90 days.

The charging stations will not be open to the public or available for public use, Amazon representatives wrote.

“The purpose of this installation is to supply electricity to charge Amazon fleet vehicles in their designated parking lots,” the proposal states. “Hours of operation will be determined by Amazon’s operating schedule.”

Designed by engineers at Kansas City-based Black & Veatch Corp., the plans describe a total of 399 charging stations, while also showing 630 as a “future target” and 760 for a “total site.”

Black & Veatch officials declined to comment.

The Yorkville Village Board approved the proposal June 13 with little debate.

Nelson said he believes electric-powered delivery vehicles were part of Amazon’s plan when the company moved into the Grandview Business Park last year. He called the proposal straightforward and said he welcomes seeing Amazon’s innovation in western Racine County.

“It makes sense,” he added. “If they think it’s more efficient and can make them money, I think it’s a smart move.”

Click here to see the full proposal submitted by Amazon to build a Racine County electric-vehicle charging operation large enough to power about 400 vehicles.

In photos: Golfers return to the links for the first time in 2022 in Racine County

Back at it

Back at it

“Hey, you wanna go?” Jason Wawrzyniak, shown here teeing off for the first time in 2022 at Ives Grove Golf Links at midday Wednesday, said on the phone with his dad, Rick Wawrzyniak, not pictured, less than 24 hours before their eventual tee time. Wednesday was the first day Ives Grove and several other area courses opened for the first time in 2022.


ADAM ROGAN,

Bomb’s Away

Bomb's Away


ADAM ROGAN,

Bomb’s Away

Bomb's Away


ADAM ROGAN,

Swing away, Merrill

Swing away, Merrill

Dave Schulz hits an approach shot at midday Wednesday toward the green of the ninth hole of the Blue Course at Ives Grove Golf Links, 14101 Washington Ave., Yorkville. Ives Grove, HF Johnson Park Golf Course and Browns Lake Golf Course in Burlington all opened for the season Wednesday, as did Kenosha’s two county-run courses, with temperatures in southeastern Wisconsin in the 60s. For more photos from the return of golf Wednesday, visit JournalTimes.com/gallery


ADAM ROGAN,

First tee shot of the year

First tee shot of the year

Tom Wirtz of Racine tees off.


ADAM ROGAN,

First tee shot of the year

First tee shot of the year

Tom Wirtz of Racine tees off.


ADAM ROGAN,

First tee shot of the year

First tee shot of the year

Tom Wirtz of Racine tees off.


ADAM ROGAN,

Back on the course

Back on the course


ADAM ROGAN,

approach

approach


ADAM ROGAN,

First tee shot of 2022

First tee shot of 2022


ADAM ROGAN,

Practicing the short game

Practicing the short game


ADAM ROGAN,

End of the round

End of the round

From left to right: Tom Komassa, Dave Schulz and Larry Nelson finish up their first round of 2022 at Ives Grove Golf Links in Yorkville.


ADAM ROGAN,

Heading for the green

Heading for the green


ADAM ROGAN,

Short game

Short game

Mike Kateley chips one close.


ADAM ROGAN,

Going for the green

Going for the green


ADAM ROGAN,

Going for the green

Going for the green


ADAM ROGAN,

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