Woolworths launches a new fleet of electric online delivery vehicles.

Woolworths launches a new fleet of electric online delivery vehicles.

Editor Wakesho

Woolworths, in partnership with DSV and Everlectric, is the first South African retailer to embark on an extensive rollout of electric panel vans (EVs) to deliver their customers’ online purchases.  This move is part of the company’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and promoting sustainability in the retail industry.

Woolworths Head of Online and Mobile, Liz Hillock said that last year they announced their commitment to electric delivery vehicles, and are delighted to now have nearly half their fleet powered by the sun.  The new electric vehicles have been introduced on selected routes in Cape Town and Gauteng with further rollouts and extensions into KwaZulu Natal planned to follow as soon as possible.  They have bold sustainability goals and ambitions, which included the goal to have ZERO net carbon emissions by 2040 so this investment is a big step towards these goals.  On an annual basis, these 41 vehicles will have the potential to save over 400,000 kgs of tailpipe carbon emissions. With the exponential growth of their online business, switching to electric delivery vehicles is a smart and sustainable solution that benefits everyone.

“To power the vans, electricity will be sourced as far as possible from renewable sources by utilizing DSV’s extensive solar infrastructure at their Gauteng and Cape Town facilities. Should there be any exception to renewables recharging, DSV and Everlectric will work with an audit firm to procure Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset any indirect grid energy emissions.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of this collaboration! Recognizing our role in the transport and logistics industry, we have raised our sustainability ambitions and committed to reaching net zero emissions across our operations by 2050. Achieving our sustainability goals cannot be realized alone. That’s why we work with customers and industry partners like Woolworths and Everlectric to develop solutions that benefit both our planet and our business,”  adds Greg Saffy, Senior Director Operations, DSV Road Logistics DSV.

Everlectric CEO Ndia Magadagela echoed that they are very excited to be powering the Woolworths green logistics journey. Last year they discussed on what is possible, this year they are leading the charge in green logistics, with South Africa’s first electric vehicle commercial fleet rollout. Woolworths along with DSV and Everlectric have proven the viability of the solution through the proof of concept that they have run over the last two years on South African roads, under South African conditions. Everlectric is excited to now scale these learnings in a commercial solution that not only decarbonizes clients’ fleets but is operationally excellent and cost-efficient.

Electric online delivery vehicle stats:

  • Electric panel vans can drive up to 300km per charge.
  • The Woolies online electric delivery vehicles drive an average of 150km – 220km per day.
  • Electric vehicles perform the same and are mostly better than a normal cars. The acceleration is better, and they generally have more torque (power) which is important for carrying heavy commercial loads.
  • They have regenerative braking which assists the electric vehicles to perform most efficiently in stop/start traffic conditions (the opposite to normal vehicles). This urban efficiency, combined with the almost 5 cubes of space and 1-ton capacity make these delivery vehicles perfect for urban logistics.
  • There is ‘live advanced telematics’ in the Woolies online electric delivery vehicles which allows for the maximization of operational efficiencies, increased daily range, and ensures driver safety.
  • This telematics has the ability to remotely limit power and speed.
  • The Woolies online electric delivery vehicles are limited to a top speed of 120 km/hour.