Retailer Woolworths has rolled out an electric fleet for its online delivery orders, powered by Everlectric and DSV. The retailer said in a release its aim is to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainability in the retail industry.

Liz Hillock, Woolworths head of online and mobile says the new electric vehicles have been introduced on selected routes in Cape Town and Gauteng, with further rollouts and extensions into KwaZulu Natal planned to follow as soon as possible.

“We have bold sustainability goals and ambitions, which included the goal to have zero nett carbon emissions by 2040 so this investment is a big step towards these goals. On an annual basis these 41 vehicles will have the potential to save over 400 000 kgs of tailpipe carbon emissions. With the exponential growth of our online business, switching to electric delivery vehicles is a smart and sustainable solution that benefits everyone.”

“To power the vans, electricity will be sourced as far as possible from renewable sources by utilising DSV’s extensive solar infrastructure at their Gauteng and Cape Town facilities. 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,” explains Hillock.

Everlectric CEO Ndia Magadagela says, “Woolworths along with DSV and Everlectric have proven the viability of the solution through the proof of concept that we have run over the last two years on South African roads, under South African conditions. We are excited to now scale these learnings in our commercial solution that not only decarbonises our clients’ fleets, but is operationally excellent and cost efficient.”

Woolworths shared these stats about its EV fleet:

  • Electric panel vans can drive up to 300km per charge.
  • The Woolies online electric delivery vehicles drive an average of 150km – 220km per day.
  • Electric vehicles perform the same and mostly better than a normal car. The acceleration is better, and they generally have more torque (power) which is important for carrying heavy commercial loads.
  • They have regenerative braking which assist the electric vehicles to perform most efficiently in stop/start traffic conditions (the opposite to normal vehicles). This urban efficiency, combined with the almost 5 cubes of space and 1 ton capacity make these delivery vehicles perfect for urban logistics.
  • There is ‘live advanced telematics’ in the Woolies online electric delivery vehicles which allow for the maximisation of operational efficiencies, increased daily range and ensures driver safety.
  • This telematics has the ability to remotely limit power and speed.
  • The Woolies online electric delivery vehicles are limited to a top speed of 120 km/hour.

Greg Saffy, senior director of operations at DSV Road Logistics DSV says they’ve raised their sustainability ambitions and committed to reaching net zero emissions across our operations by 2050. “Achieving our sustainability goals cannot be realised alone. That’s why we work with customers and industry partners, like Woolworths and Everlectric to develop solutions that benefit both our planet and our business.”