Ikea to use EVs for last-mile home deliveries in five cities by 2020

Ikea has pledged to only use electric vehicles (EVs) for all its last-mile home deliveries in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Shanghai by 2020, after announcing a 2025 target of using zero-emission vehicles to make all of its last-mile deliveries worldwide last year.

Ikea estimates that the EV switch in the five cities will help it to electrify 25% of its last-mile deliveries within the next two years.

The move from the world’s largest furniture retailer forms part of its membership to The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative, which aims to spur the uptake of EVs among businesses globally.

As an EV100 member, the company has also committed to provide access to EV charging stations at Ikea locations in 30 markets by 2020, and to halve emissions from Ikea employee and customer travel by 2030.

“For us, it’s crucial to grow our business in a sustainable way – that’s why we’re speeding up the transition to EVs in five inner-city areas,” Ikea’s chief executive Jesper Brodin said. “It’s not only about Ikea shifting one vehicle to another, but it’s a systemic shift.”

The new commitment comes after Ikea unveiled its updated People and Planet Positive strategy, which includes a headline target of becoming “climate positive” by 2030. Removing all single-use plastic products from its range globally, eliminating more greenhouse gas emissions than its value chain emits, and generating more renewables than it consumes are additional noteworthy targets.

“By switching to EVs for home deliveries at this pace, Ikea is setting a strong example for clean transport in city centres, where zero-emission zones will one day become the norm,” The Climate Group’s chief executive Helen Clarkson added.

“The Ikea Group is enabling its customers to play a key part in accelerating the rollout of EVs overall.”

The move from Ikea comes shortly after the retailer opened its first store in India, which is located in Hyderabad and powered with 100% solar-generated electricity.

The new store’s fleet currently consists of 20% fully electric vehicles, with Ikea set to replace the remaining 80% with fully electric vehicles by 2025.

Of the store’s electric fleet, the majority are e-rickshaws, which will be used to dispatch at least one-fifth of the store’s last-mile home deliveries each month. The fleet of rickshaws, which Ikea claims have been chosen due to India’s traffic levels and narrow streets, will be charged using 100% renewable power, generated by the 4,000 solar panels on the store’s roof.

The green (last) mile

Ikea’s commitments to electrifying last-mile deliveries in cities follow a similar move from UPS, which is using a power-assisted trailer to make last-mile deliveries in central London.

Similarly, The City of London Corporation has made a fleet of zero-emission cargo bikes available to businesses operating within the Smithfield and Farringdon areas of the capital.

Elsewhere, Sainsbury’s this year became the first UK supermarket to integrate electric cargo bikes into its delivery service after trialling five zero-emission bikes across South London.

Sarah George

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