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Sainsbury’s opts for smart lorry charging, DHL adds more e-vans to its fleet

Sainsbury's: accelerating its carbon reduction

UK supermarket Sainsbury’s is to deploy smart charging for its new fleet of electric refrigerated delivery lorry trailers to cut as much as 20 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

The trailers, which run their chiller units from batteries, rather than from diesel generators, were trialled in 2021 and are now being integrated into the Sainsbury’s delivery fleet. The supermarket chain is now working on a smart charging system that will allow the batteries in these trailers to be charged from low-carbon energy sources and charging at night.

The move will not only cut carbon emissions associated with the refrigeration units themselves, but also help the retailer manage the overall energy use in its distribution centres.

“Following the announcement of our newly accelerated target to be net-zero in our own operations by 2035, we’re committed to trialling and investing in pioneering technology to enable us to lead the way to a decarbonised future,” Sainsbury’s director of property and procurement Patrick Dunne says. “We will continue to introduce fully electric refrigerated trailers to our delivery fleet over the next 20 years and are excited to be working with Flexible Power Systems to maximise our carbon savings even further, making our delivery fleet more efficient and better for the planet.”

Through the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, the UK Government has committed to ending the sale of all new petrol and diesel heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040. As a rule of thumb, the larger a vehicle is, the more challenging it is to electrify, but case studies like Sainsbury’s are beginning to emerge as some fleet operators strive to be early movers.

DHL expands electric fleet

Courier firm DHL has added 270 more pure electric vans to its delivery fleet to replace diesel vehicles and adds to the 50 e-vans it rolled out in 2021.

The new Ford E Transit four-tonners will join the fleet from September 2022 in London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Southampton, Liverpool, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Distribution centres in these cities are also being equipped with charging infrastructure.

DHL Express’s fleet director Richard Crook comments: “We’re thrilled to be sharing another update on our journey to a fully electric fleet. We’re extremely proud of the progress made so far in reducing the environmental impact of our fleet, and this next stage of roll-out is a positive step towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.”

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