Ocado trials electric vehicles for rapid deliveries

Ocado has launched a trial of electric vehicles (EVs) for its rapid grocery delivery service in the heart of London, as part of the retailer's ongoing commitment to reaching net-zero emissions.

The trial is part of Ocado Retail’s target to become net-zero by 2035

The trial is part of Ocado Retail’s target to become net-zero by 2035

Ocado Zoom, part of the delivery service arm owned by Ocado Retail will trial electric-assisted and pedal-powered vehicles at its site in Acton, West London. The vehicles are a mix of electric refrigerated vans and pedal-powered cargo bikes which can travel up to 40 miles. Ocado claims that every vehicle is zero-emission and every delivery made with them replaces the need for a petrol alternative. The company has also committed to opening more sites in London by 2025.

Ocado Zoom’s head George Dean said: “We’re really excited to see a new generation of vehicles out on the road. We’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint and being the best neighbour we can, whilst delivering groceries to our customers as fast as possible. This trial is an important step in what I hope will be a rapid expansion of our non-emitting fleet”.

The trial is part of Ocado Retail’s target to become net-zero by 2035. Ocado was among the cohort of leading retailers to commit to net-zero through the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The plan, signed by more than 60 retailers, will help deliver a retail industry that will reach net-zero by 2040, including decarbonising stores by 2030, deliveries by 2035 and products by 2040.

The group will work with each other, environmental experts from the BRC and third parties to define the roadmap’s overarching deadline and create specific, time-bound measures towards complete net decarbonisation.

According to the BRC, lockdown cost non-essential retailers a collective total of £1.8bn per week in lost sales. As the UK emerges into some form of ‘new normal’, many retailers have taken the decision to reduce their estates and staff bases, including John Lewis and Harrods. Others, such as TM Lewin, Bensons for Beds and Laura Ashley, have filed for administration. As such, Ocado’s online presence will set it up well to cope with the pandemic and continuing meeting the demands and needs of its customers.

Report: Can the retail sector deliver a green recovery?

edie has published a new report detailing how retailers can build back better from the coronavirus pandemic by aligning long-term strategies with the need to combat the climate crisis, foster new innovations and ultimately spur a green recovery.

The report has been created in assistance with Reconomy and uses exclusive results from edie’s green recovery survey of 243 sustainability and energy professionals. This retail report has also been produced with guidance from in-depth discussions with a steering panel of sustainability experts from some of the world’s most respected retail firms in the vanguard of sustainability leadership.

Click here to read the report.

Matt Mace



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