Retailer Woolworths says it will embark on an extensive rollout of electric panel vans (EVs) in partnership with DSV and Everlectric to deliver their customers’ online purchases in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban.
It follows a successful 10-month trial, the group said. The rollout will result in up to 70% of the retailer’s fleet being powered by electricity which according to the figures from the trial, will have on an annual basis the potential to save 700,000 kgs of tailpipe carbon emissions, said Woolworths.
“Last year we announced bold new sustainability goals and ambitions, which included the goal to have zero net carbon emissions by 2040 so we are very much looking forward to being the first retailer in South Africa to embark on such an extensive rollout of electric panel vans to support our growing online business,” said Liz Hillock, Woolworths head of online and mobile.
“Over the last three years, we have invested over R1 billion in our digital capabilities, providing new and innovative experiences to meet the evolving needs of our customers as well as differentiate our services which have resulted in exponential growth of online sales. This latest investment in electric panel vans enables us to continue to grow our online business and deliver the Woolies difference, but with a lower carbon footprint.”
To power the vans, Hillock said that electricity will be sourced as far as possible from renewable sources maximising the opportunity to utilise solar at DSV and additional chargers co-located at strategic Woolworths store locations. “We will work closely with DSV and Everlectric to plan, position and negotiate the installation of these charging stations to leverage off existing renewable/ solar installations co-located at the selected malls/ retail locations.
“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.”