Ikea franchisor Inter Ikea Systems has said it could scale use of a solar-powered cargo bike for delivery, allowing the furniture retailer’s stores around the world to use a greener form of transport for fulfilling parcels.
Tested in the Netherlands from the Ikea store in Delft, the solar-powered cargo bike can get goods from the shop to people’s homes in and around the city centre close to the retailer’s premises.
The bike is the latest version of greener transportation added to the Ikea fleet, which has been adding electric delivery vehicles over the last few years.
Commenting on the move, Helene Davidsson, sustainability manager at Inter Ikea Systems, said: “This Sunrider bike can accommodate roughly 90% of the Ikea product range and emits 98% less CO2 than modern diesel vans.
“For Ikea, it’s important to explore new ways to improve the service offer for the customers, both from a more sustainable, affordable and accessible perspective. The solar-powered cargo bike does all that.”
All Ikea retailers around the world will now be given the possibility to add the vehicle to their respective home delivery fleets, according to the franchisor.
UK electricals retailer Currys is another business experimenting with solar power in its fleet. Working with Trailar, the consumer electronics business has attached solar panels to its distribution vans which help power parts of the vehicle to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels.
Both Ikea and Currys view the use of solar power as a way to reduce their carbon footprints and help meet their respective targets to reach net zero carbon in their operations in the coming years.
Davidsson said: “We want to meet more people, and many of our future customers will live in cities with limited access to transportation.
“This challenge provides a great opportunity to explore new ways of making our products available. The solar-powered cargo bike will be a valuable addition to last-mile service, as it offers a quiet, emission-free alternative that can also bypass traffic congestion.”
[Image credit: Ikea]