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Clean Transport

Tesco Electrifies Deliveries To More Than 400 City Center Stores In Greater London

Tesco has become the first retailer to launch a zero-emission electric lorry to make deliveries from its distribution centersto stores in city centers in the UK. The introduction of electric trucks will help improve air quality in urban areas and reduce emissions and is an area that should really be prioritized by all players in the logistics and transport industry. Currently, heavy goods vehicles, including delivery vehicles, make up around 16% of the UK’s domestic transport emissions and addressing this can play a significant role in delivering the UK’s net zero ambitions. Adding electric delivery lorries to its fleet will contribute to Tesco’s efforts to achieve net zero emissions in its own operations by 2035.

The electric lorry will see 30,000 diesel-fueled road miles replaced with clean green energy each year! The lorry is fueled with clean green energy, removing 23 tonnes of CO2e per year. The electrically-powered lorry is made by Renault Trucks and is now delivering to more than 400 stores in Greater London, with further electric lorries entering service in the coming months. The lorry has a range of up to 130 miles and is able to carry the same payload as the diesel truck it replaces. Tesco has installed electric charge points at its Dagenham distribution center.

For a very long time, this type of application of electric vehicles had been touted as the perfect use case. These routes are characterized by well known routes, driving range, and regular schedules, making it easy to schedule vehicle charging as well as optimize the driving patterns. Charging would be straightforward at the distribution centers and even at the stores themselves while the lorries are being offloaded. It’s really good to see that we are now starting to get electric lorries in this category for this critical use case.

Here are the specs of the lorry:

Renault Trucks D Wide E Tech 18/19t

  • 4.75m wheelbase Day cab, 4 x 66 kWh traction batteries with 22kWh AC / 150 kWh DC charging capability
  • 600v TVJB Fridge power supply unit
  • Body: Solomon Commercials 6.4m external length refrigerated body with rear shutter door and 1500kg column tail lift to Tesco specification.
  • Refrigeration equipment: Carrier TRS Syberia 11 with power converter, powered directly from the vehicle batteries via Renault Trucks 600v TVJB Fridge power supply unit.
  • The Renault Trucks D Wide E-Tech vehicle has multi temperature zones, allowing the truck to move stock that has different temperature needs

Tesco is also working with Volta Trucks on 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. The glasshouse-style cab, where the driver sits in the center, together with cameras replacing wing mirrors, minimizes blind spots and allows the driver better visibility of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.

In January of this year, Tesco became the first UK retailer to add electric heavy freight articulated trucks to its fleet, which transport products emissions-free between Cardiff rail terminal and its distribution center in Magor.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and ROI CEO, said: “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. 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 industry-leading E Tech electric truck from Renault Trucks. 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.”

Carlos Rodrigues, Managing Director, Renault Trucks UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, has chosen to partner with Renault Trucks on its journey to net zero and selected the E-Tech D-Wide for its first fully electric model to move refrigerated goods more quietly and with zero emissions across the Greater London area.”

Tesco has been one of the leading corporates that have made firm commitments to addressing issues on climate change. Tesco has committed to be carbon neutral in itss operations by 2035 and net zero across its whole footprint by 2050.

In 2019, Tesco announced a project to source renewable electricity directly from wind farms and solar farms via Power Purchase Agreements, as well as installing solar panels and wind turbines at its own sites. Also, in 2019, Tesco signed up to the Clean Van Commitment supporting the switch to low-emission vans. Tesco will have a fully electric UK home delivery fleet by 2028. Tesco is also part of EV100, a global initiative committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles. Tesco has expanded the UK’s largest free electric vehicle charging network to 500 stores nationwide with Inverness Extra proudly becoming store number 500. Here is a video of one of these free electric vehicle charging stations at one of the Tesco stores in Worthing.

Image courtesy of Tesco

 
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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.

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