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Woolworths electrifies 
online delivery fleet

Start-up Everlectric brings “electric vehicle-as-a-service” (EVaaS) concept to South Africa, changing urban logistics.

Woolworths, in partnership with DSV and Everlectric, has embarked on an extensive rollout of electric panel vans (EVs) to deliver customers’ online purchases.  The company says the move is part of its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and promoting sustainability in the retail industry.

“Last year we announced our commitment to electric delivery vehicles, and we are delighted to now have nearly half our fleet powered by the sun,” says Liz Hillock, Woolworths head of online and mobile. “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.  On an annual basis these 41 vehicles will have the potential to save over 400,000kg 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.”

Everlectric CEO Ndia Magadagela says: “Last year we spoke of what is possible, this year we are leading the charge in green logistics, with South Africa’s first electric vehicle commercial fleet roll out. 

“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.”

Everlectric provided the following electric online delivery vehicle stats:

  • 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.
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