In the UK, Waitrose and John Lewis have announced plans to significantly increase the use of electric vans to help fulfil their goal of ending the use of fossil fuels across their entire transport fleet by 2030.
As the two retail companies saw an upturn of business online during the Corona period, they have now decided to ramp up the electrification of their delivery fleets. “As many as 1,300” electric vans will be integrated into the two companies fleets in 2021, accompanied by the necessary infrastructure installation at their shop car parks. By 2030, the partners will replace all 4,800 vehicles in their fleet with emissions-free transporters.
The companies announced that two different versions of electric delivery trucks will be used, including a large one for food orders processed by Waitrose, and a smaller version for the John Lewis fleet. While they have not announced who manufactured the delivery vans, there was a project with the electric bus manufacturer Arrival to establish field experience and to determine the viability of electrification.
“As our online services rapidly expand, we’re working hard to meet our goal of operating a zero fossil fuel in the next ten years,” said Justin Laney, Partner and general manager of central transport at the John Lewis Partnership, before adding: “Our new electric vans are an ideal solution for home deliveries; the innovative design means they’re more efficient, but also respectful to the environment and the growing number of neighbourhoods in which we deliver.”
Since speeding up the employee-owned business’ online expansion in face of Covid-19, Waitrose has said they have added more than 100,000 customer order slots each week to its service (which is currently at more than 160,000 slots each week), while committing at least 25% of Waitrose.com orders to vulnerable and elderly customers, including those on the government lists.
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