Electricals retailer Currys has announced it is investing in solar-powered vans to help reduce the fuel consumption of nearly 200 vehicles across its network.
The move is in partnership with solar transport technology company Trailar, and the UK retailer said it is part of its target to achieve net zero status by 2040.
Within that wider target is the goal to transition to a 100% electric or alternatively-fuelled fleet for vehicles below 3.5 tonnes and 50% for vehicles 3.5 tonnes and over by 2030.
Trailar operates with the mission to make commercial vehicles greener by reducing their environmental impact. According to Currys, “cutting-edge, ultra-thin solar panels” are placed on the roof space of existing or new vehicles, and they connect the panels to the vehicle battery.
Through this method, solar power is generated and then used to power various on-board activities, as well as the solar-powered vans’ tail lift. Currys said this can save 5% of diesel and 1.39 tonnes of CO2 emissions per vehicle each year.
Martin Littlemore, supplier compliance manager at Currys, said: “We’re constantly looking at our entire supply chain for opportunities to do more, which is where our relationship with Trailar was created.”
Currys said its new partner’s insights platform can capture and report on the solar-powered vans’ telematic data to allow the retailer to see how much fuel and CO2 each vehicle is saving each day. It also provides reports on battery health, utilisation, tail-lift usage and other performance measurements.
Denny Hulme, managing director of Trailar, commented: “We’re very proud to be working alongside a business that is as focused on driving both sustainability and operational efficiencies into their fleet.
“We look forward to seeing all the vehicles in operation and the benefits our technology will bring.”
Last year, Currys added its name to a list of companies that includes Halfords and Ikea which are urging the government to show leadership on issues impacting electric and alternatively-fuelled vehicle adoption.
The UK Electric Fleets Coalition, run by the international non-profit organisation Climate Group, campaigns for government action on these issues.
[Image credit: Currys]