Amazon and Volvo team up on big rig electric trucks, rolling out of Southern California ports

You've probably seen those cute blue, circle-eyed electric Amazon delivery trucks around your neighborhood. Now you'll be passing by electric Amazon big rigs on the highway.

The world's dominant online retailer is rolling out 50 all-electric big rigs in Southern California, eight of them out of the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and White House national climate advisor Ali Zaidi are scheduled to trumpet the Amazon news at the Los Angeles port Tuesday afternoon.

California has laid down mandates to dump diesel trucks and replace them with lower-carbon technologies in increasing numbers until 2035, when sale of new diesel trucks will be banned. The aim: to get rid of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

Already, the state has banned brand new diesel trucks from seaports in California, although diesel trucks purchased through 2023 will be allowed inside for years under certain conditions.

The batteries in the big rig tractors, manufactured by Volvo, can travel up to 275 miles before a recharge, "with zero tailpipe emissions," Amazon said. The trucks will haul shipping containers from the ports to the Amazon freight center in Sante Fe Springs, where containers will be unloaded and the goods shipped to distribution centers and airports, and finally to delivery stations, where vans load up on packages for homes and businesses.

The company won't say how much it's paying for the trucks. The full price currently ranges from $300,000 to $500,000, compared with about $120,000 for a diesel truck. But California and the federal government offer big subsidies to buyers of low-carbon trucks, and Amazon is in a position to buy in bulk and extract a discount.

Amazon is hardly the only company moving into low-carbon big rigs. Given the state mandates, there's plenty of electric-truck action lately in and around the ports. Just one example: Shipping giant Maersk is using BYD-brand electric trucks at the ports, charging up at a newly opened station in Lynwood, equipped with 65 chargers provided by Palo Alto-based Voltera.

Read more: Are Tesla Superchargers really open to other EVs in California? It's complicated

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.