Ocado trials grocery delivery by electric vehicle to reduce air pollution

Exclusive: The online retailer could introduce the vehicle into his fleet at the end of this year if the trial proves successful

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The Independent Online

Ocado has been testing grocery delivery by electric vehicles as part of a bid to cut its carbon footprint, reduce congestion and keep noise levels to a minimum, especially in residential areas.

 The Danish-designed TRIPL vehicle for home deliveries will reduce emissions and is much quieter than a standard van or car, according to Ocado.  

The company said that the vehicles are small and manoeuvrable meaning that they can more easily access confined areas that are tricky to reach with a standard, larger delivery vehicle.

London is poised to introduce an ultra-low emission zone in the next few years and Ocado said that the fully electric vehicle – with a top speed of 45km per hour and range of 100km on a single charge – will be used to deliver customer orders in urban areas and will be mostly suited for short deliveries.

Depending on the success of the plan, the retailer will roll out the vehicles across the UK after an initial launch in London at the end of this year.

Ocado said that they will be the first online retailer to use the technology for customer deliveries at no additional cost.

“We are always exploring new technology that could provide alternative ways to deliver to our customers, so this is an exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to seeing the environmental benefits following the launch of our new trial with TRIPL,” Suzanne Westlake, head of corporate responsibility at Ocado, said.

Verity Hensey from Balham, South London and the first Ocado customer to receive her delivery by TRIPL, endorsed the retailer’s commitment to helping the environment.

“For an environmentally-conscious customer like me, it’s really exciting to see the new electric vehicles being used to save fuel and cut emissions.”

In January, the company announced better than expected profit growth of 21.8 per cent to £14.5m in the year to the end of November, with growth in average orders per week approaching 18 per cent to 230,000.

Last year, Ocado signed a deal with Morrisons, under which it provided technology and distribution services to the supermarket to launch its online food business.

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