Sainsbury’s trials UK’s first e-bike grocery delivery service

Sainsbury's has become the first UK supermarket to integrate electric cargo bikes into its delivery service, with the company set to trial five zero-emission bikes across South London.

Up to 100 online deliveries a day from the Streatham Common store will be performed by e-bikes provided by If successful, Sainsbury’s has hinted that the bikes could be rolled out to more stores.

Sainsbury’s director of online Clodagh Moriarty said: “We’re delighted to be the first supermarket to trial grocery deliveries by electric cargo bikes. We’re always looking for new ways to make sure we can best serve our customers and this trial will help us explore whether there might be a more flexible way to deliver Sainsbury’s groceries to those who live in busy cities.” 

The last-mile delivery service means that certain deliveries won’t be hit with congestion charges in London, and the provider claims the vehicles are suitable for same-hour delivers. The zero-emission vehicles also benefit from no noise pollution.

Once online delivery orders have been placed, Sainsbury’s will utilise routing technology to determine which deliveries are suitable for e-bikes and which will be conducted by traditional delivery vans. The order will then be delivered by Sainsbury’s branded bikes and riders.

Sainsbury’s has a history of firsts when it comes to its transport fleet. The supermarket ramped up its attempts to curb transport emissions when it become the first company in the world to incorporate “closed-loop” natural refrigerant trailer units for its delivery vehicles.

The three-year trial with cold technology specialist Carrier Transicold has seen Sainsbury’s use specialised truck units that incorporate a closed-loop system using only CO2 in their refrigeration cycle.

The supermarket was also the first in the world to trial a refrigerated delivery truck cooled by a liquid nitrogen powered engine. The new system replaces the traditional diesel engine used to chill the vehicle, harnessing the rapid expansion of liquid nitrogen to deliver zero-emission power and cooling. 

edie’s electric vehicle game-changers report

Earlier this week, edie published a new insight report outlining the 10 industry game-changers driving the transition to low-carbon, electric vehicles (EVs), with last mile deliveries featured heavily in the report.

The 13-page report, which is available to download for free, combines expert analysis with real-life case studies, industry viewpoints and key facts and stats, offering an end-to-end overview of how businesses can accelerate the shift to low-carbon vehicles.

You can read the report here.

Matt Mace

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