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Australian Retailer Woolworths To Make All Its Home Delivery Trucks 100% Electric By 2030

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Australia’s Woolworths Group, which is not related to South Africa’s Woolworths, has announced that it aims to make all its home delivery trucks 100% electric-powered by 2030, which will see more than 1,000 EVs added to the nation’s roads. It will be the first Australian supermarket chain to do so. Woolworths Group has kickstarted the transition by welcoming the first of 27 new EVs, which will begin delivering groceries to Woolworths’ Sydney customers over the next two months.

Woolworths’ home delivery fleet is currently made up of 1,200 trucks and growing. Woolworths anticipates that the very last combustion engine vehicle will join the home delivery fleet by 2027, and it will gradually decommission and replace its ICE vehicles with EVs.

Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci, said: “Our home delivery trucks are a familiar sight in neighbourhoods across Australia, and within the next seven years, we want to make every one of them electric, and free of fossil fuels.

“The case for a low carbon future has never been clearer and we’re backing a better tomorrow for our communities and the planet by starting the transition now.

“We’re proud to be putting 27 new EVs on the road in the coming weeks – in one of the many ways we’re working to make grocery shopping greener.

“Not only can we help make our suburban streets quieter and cleaner, but we hope to set an example for other businesses to support the growth of Australia’s EV industry.”

All 27 of the new home delivery EVs will be based in Sydney, delivering groceries to customers across the CBD, Inner West, Sutherland Shire, St George region, and Eastern Suburbs. At present, public EV infrastructure to support commercial fleets remains limited. The trucks will operate out of Woolworths’ Customer Fulfilment Centres (CFC) in Mascot and Caringbah, which are dedicated to picking and packing the supermarket’s online orders. The CFCs have installed new EV charging infrastructure in preparation.

Woolworths Group’s new EVs consist of two models manufactured by Foton Motor and SAIC Motor, which both offer sufficient working range to complete daily metro home deliveries before returning to base to charge overnight. They are fitted with a new, state-of-the-art electric refrigeration system that runs off the vehicle’s battery, ensuring groceries stay cold.

Woolworths Group will continue to increase its use of electric and low emissions freight vehicles across its Primary Connect supply chain logistics business. Woolworths is currently operating three electric heavy rigid vehicles, as it trials emerging technology to help decarbonize its fleet in the long-term. Woolworths says at present, the technology and infrastructure to support the load intensity and distances of long-haul freight is still in its infancy.

Woolworths Group also hopes to contribute to public infrastructure planning to ensure the right charging technology and locations are considered to meet the needs of electric metro fleets, as well as low emissions long-haul freighter trucks, which will require accessible recharging points across regional Australia. Woolworths adds that through the business’ ongoing decarbonization initiatives, by 2030, the Group intends to have reduced its overall operational transport emissions by around 60% compared to today, and to have decommissioned more than 3,000 internal combustion engine vehicles from its company-wide fleet.

It’s pretty interesting that although the two entities are not related, the Woolworths Groups in South Africa and Australia are taking the lead in transitioning their delivery fleets to electric. Woolworths, which is popularly known as “Woolies” in South Africa, is the first South African retailer to embark on an extensive rollout of electric panel vans to deliver its customers’ online purchases. Woolies is rolling out its vehicle electrification program for its online delivery fleet in partnership with DSV and Everlectric. Woolworths South Africa recently introduced 41 SAIC e-Deliver 3 electric vans to its delivery fleet. Interestingly, Woolworths Australia is also getting electric delivery vehicles from SAIC as well as from Foton.

Image courtesy of Woolworths

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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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