British retailer Tesco has begun removing carbon emissions on some of its deliveries in London, becoming the first in the industry to distribute food via an electric-powered lorry.
Tesco’s new gas-free vehicle made by Renault Trucks is the first of many on the way that will be delivering food to city centres, including 400 supermarkets in the nation’s capital. The more efficient lorry can go 130 miles and hold the same weight as a diesel truck. Tesco says 30,000 miles typically run on diesel along with 23 tonnes of CO2 will be spared each year by the new replacements.
Because cities across the UK are getting more healthy and imposing zero-emissions zones, it is imperative that retailers quickly get up to speed to meet these goals.
“We all want to see improved air quality and less pollution in our towns and cities, and electric vehicles will play a crucial role in achieving this,” Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and ROI CEO said. “The Tesco distribution network is one of the largest in the UK and provides us with a great opportunity to roll out new technologies like this electric truck. Together with our switch to electric home delivery vans and rolling out electric vehicle charging points for our customers, we’re really excited about the improvements we’re making across our business, and our transition to electric vehicles.”
The Renault Trucks D Wide E-Tech vehicle, which will be powered up at charge stations at Tesco’s Dagenham distribution centre, features multi-temperature zones to keep perishable food products fresh. Tesco also is partnering with Volta Trucks to launch a prototype full-electric lorry.
“The Volta Zero was specifically designed to help tackle the problem of emissions in urban areas as well as improving road safety as a result of its purpose-built, ground-up design,” Tesco said in a statement. “The glasshouse-style cab, where the driver sits in the centre, together with cameras replacing wing mirrors, minimises blind spots and allows the driver better visibility of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.”
The goal of getting to zero emissions by 2035 is challenging but important for Tesco, which notes that reduction on heavy vehicles alone could solve 16% of the UK’s domestic transport emissions. The retailer also launched emissions-free, heavy freight articulated trucks in January that run from Cardiff to Magor.