Woolworths to trial electric vehicles for online deliveries in South Africa

Retailer Woolworths has launched a new trial that will see the group use electric panel vans as part of its online delivery fleet in South Africa.

In a post published on social media, the group said it was running the trial in collaboration with renewable vehicle company Everlectric and logistics company DSV. The retailer added that this trial would be the first of its kind in the South African retail space.

“To power the vans, we source electricity from renewable and sustainable sources, including rooftop solar PV installations. Where an onsite generation of renewable energy is not directly available or practical, we offset 100% of the electricity emissions via renewable energy certificates,” it said.

Woolworths has offered an online delivery service for several years but launched its same-day delivery service – Woolies Dash – in December 2020.  Woolies Dash acts as a direct competitor to the popular Checkers Sixy60 service and Pick n Pay’s ASAP service, which also offer same-day delivery.

In October 2021, e-hailing company Bolt said it would also be introducing electric vehicle taxis to the South African market, following the successful launch of electric-bike food delivery services earlier this year. Bolt said it would be introducing a ‘green category’ that will allow customers to choose if they wish to hail an electric or hybrid vehicle.

“We are looking to roll out a green taxi category in South Africa in the next few months and plan to roll out green categories in other African markets,” said Paddy Partridge, Bolt’s regional director for Africa and the Middle East.

The company has said it sees a lot of potential in its e-bike delivery service. This eliminates the challenges associated with fluctuating fuel prices and tackles the issue of fuel being the highest operating cost for its couriers, it said.

Read: Volkswagen to sell first fully-electric cars in South Africa

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Woolworths to trial electric vehicles for online deliveries in South Africa