Crain’s Headlines: Amazon Announces Renewable Energy Goals

An electric vehicle maker that operates out of the former Mitsubishi automotive plant in downstate Normal, Illinois, is on tap to build 100,000 delivery vans for the e-commerce giant Amazon. The massive order of these emission-free vehicles is just part of a broader commitment, announced Thursday by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, to make his company greener.

Bezos is pledging that Amazon will reach a target of 80% renewable energy use by 2024 and 100% by 2030, up from 40% today. 

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It’s a big lift, and the Rivian delivery vans will be a big part of it. A Rivian spokeswoman says the first Amazon delivery vehicles are expected to be on the road by 2021.

As it happens, Amazon is a major investor in Rivian, leading a $700 million investment round in February.

And if getting your deliveries via electric vehicle isn’t exciting enough for you, how about a drone?

Walgreens said Thursday that it plans to test aerial drone deliveries in the small Virginia town of Christianburg, where customers will be able to place orders for everything from cosmetics to cough medicine via an online app, and the items will be whisked to their doorsteps by a delivery drone within minutes.

Walgreens wouldn’t say whether there will be additional test markets. But the company did note that with 78% of the U.S. population living within 5 miles of a Walgreens-owned store, the chain could theoretically expand the technology to a large percentage of the country quickly.

And finally, Michelin on Thursday awarded its much-watched Bib Gourmands rankings of Chicago-area restaurants. Overall, 54 Chicago restaurants were cited on Michelin’s “value restaurant” list, a decrease from 58 last year. 

Among the new additions to this year’s list: Cabra in the West Loop, County Barbecue in Pilsen and Virtue in Hyde Park.

Crain’s Headlines is a joint production between WTTW and Crain’s Chicago Business. It airs every Monday through Thursday on the WTTW News program “Chicago Tonight.” 

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