Sainsbury's invests in trucks powered by kinetic energy

As part of its net-zero commitment, Sainsbury's has purchased 1,200 lithium-ion trucks powered by kinetic energy, in a move that will save energy equivalent to powering 700 UK homes.

The investment will also cut maintenance costs for the retailer

The investment will also cut maintenance costs for the retailer

Sainsbury’s is replacing all its lead-acid battery manual handling trucks with lithium-ion and pro lifter pallet trucks provided by Toyota. These trucks will be powered by kinetic energy to help the retailer cut back on energy usage.

The replacement programme will see 1,200 trucks provided by Toyota, which is the car manufacturer’s largest European deal to date. Sainsbury’s claims it is the first UK supermarket to make the switch to lithium trucks.

Sainsbury’s head of facilities management Danny Malyon said: “We’re constantly striving to work as efficiently as possible as well as pioneering new ways to work more sustainably. The new fleet will ensure our store colleagues have improved access to very important equipment for them to undertake their work, while significantly reducing the energy used. This new manual handling equipment will make a big difference to store operations, our maintenance bill and our energy consumption overall.

“The pro lifter provides enhanced manoeuvrability of heavier loads through kinetic energy compared to a manual pump truck, plus requires no charging. The new lithium trucks also cut down our charging requirements by up to six and a half hours and include telemetric capacity to provide us with valuable information.”

Sainsbury’s expects that over a 12-month period the vehicle replacement will save energy equivalent to powering 700 average-sized UK homes. The investment will also cut maintenance costs for the retailer.


The trucks will assist Sainsbury’s net-zero ambition. In January, Sainsbury's pledged to invest £1bn in order to become a net-zero business across its own operations.

The investment will cover Sainsbury’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions and the retailer will work with the Carbon Trust to set science-based targets. The retailer’s current carbon footprint is one million tonnes, which is a 35% absolute reduction in the last 15 years despite the size of the company increasing by 46% over the same timeframe.

Sainsbury’s will work with suppliers to help them set individual net-zero commitments.

The retailer has previously invested £260m across more than 3,000 sustainability initiatives in the past 10 years, including a nationwide LED lighting programme - by the end of 2022, all Sainsbury’s stores will be 100% lit by LED - and a focus on natural refrigerants.

Sainsbury’s will now work to increase its use of renewable energy use while reducing energy consumption. Natural refrigerants will continue to be scaled up across stores and 20% of the company’s fleet will use low-carbon or zero-carbon fuels by 2025.

Matt Mace


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