Co-op introduces electric delivery vehicles

EV fleet: Co-op unveils first electric delivery vehicles for its online business

Food retailer Co-op has today added electric delivery vehicles to its eCommerce fleet.

As part of its plans to replace its fleet of fossil-fuel powered home delivery vans by 2025, the convenience grocery chain will be using the electric vehicles for its online customers in Hebden Bridge, Holmfirth, and Hove this month. Stores in Ryde on the Isle of Wight and Whitby, North Yorkshire, will take delivery of EVs early next year.

Renault’s Kangoo Maxi ZE Electric van is one of the vehicles being used, although Green Retail World understands Co-op will trial EVs from several different manufacturers.

Co-op’s fledgling online grocery offering has grown significantly in 2020 – adding several localised non-fossil fuel fulfilment options to its eCommerce offering, which launched with E-Cargo Bikes in March 2019. It also has a larger fleet of autonomous delivery vehicles than any other food retailer in the UK, working with Starship Technologies’ robot delivery service in Milton Keynes and Northampton.

Chris Conway, head of eCommerce at Co-op, said: “Our focus is to continue to innovate and look for new and better ways to do business in our communities and to expand access to our products and services.

“In addition to offering quality and value quickly, easily and conveniently, we need to do this sustainably, and by replacing all our own vehicles and working collaboratively with partners with shared values we can ensure we further reduce greenhouse gas emissions which is essential if we are to have a healthy and sustainable natural environment to pass on to future generations.”

Co-op’s online offer is based on using its stores as micro-distribution hubs, with orders picked from shops in the community so that physical retail locations benefit from any increase in online demand.

By the end of 2020, Co-op expects to offer online shopping with home delivery from more than 1,000 stores. This service will be fulfillled by its own website and partners which include Pinga in east London, BuyMie in Bristol, Starship in the midlands and Buckinghamshire, and Deliveroo nationwide.

[Image credit: Co-op]

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