Woolworths in partnership with DSV and Everlectric has become the first South African retailer to launch electric panel vans to deliver online purchases to customers’ doorsteps in Cape Town and Gauteng.
This is part of the company’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, it said.
Half of Woolworths’ delivery fleet, that is 41 vehicles, now runs on batteries that are recharged via an eco-friendly solar power setup developed by DSV.
“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,” said Liz Hillock, Woolworths Head of Online and Mobile.
This initiative has the potential to save over 400,000kg of tailpipe carbon emissions on an annual basis, according to the company’s estimates.
“With the exponential growth of our online business, switching to electric delivery vehicles is a smart and sustainable solution that benefits everyone,” said Hillock.
Woolies electric panel van in detail
The Woolies Online electric delivery vans sourced from Everlectric offer better torque values than their internal combustion counterparts which is of utmost importance for carrying heavy commercial loads, and they provide better acceleration performance, said the organisation.
The vehicles have a total driving range of up to 300 kilometres on one charge, more than enough to complete the average of 150km-220km that drivers travel per day.
Another benefit is regenerative braking which actually makes the battery-electric van more efficient in stop-start traffic than on the open road, which is the complete opposite of petrol and diesel vehicles and a boon for the many inner-city deliveries they make on a daily basis.
The load space then measures in at “almost” five cubic metres with a one-tonne maximum weight capacity, and the top speed is limited to 120km/h.
There is also a “live advanced telematics” system built into the panel van which allows for the “maximisation of operational efficiencies” and a higher daily range by remotely adjusting power and speed, as well as increased driver safety, said Woolworths.
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