John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has commissioned four new “revolutionary” electric delivery vans to be manufactured and trialled early next year.
It plans to transition 1,300 vans from diesel to electric as part of its wider strategy to end fossil fuel completely on its transport fleet by 2030.
The new electric vans will be used by Waitrose.com for food deliveries and also for smaller John Lewis goods deliveries, with a different design for each operation.
JLP said the vehicles would save more than 20,000 tonnes of CO2 every year, equivalent to the carbon footprint produced by 2,500 UK households.
In addition to producing fewer pollutants, the vans will have greater capacity than their diesel counterparts; in some cases enabling three diesel vehicles to be replaced with two electric models.
JLP said the vans can also be upgraded as technology advances, meaning they could have a “very long life of up to 20 years or more” to increase their sustainability.
Finer details about the full vehicle specification and manufacturer have not been revealed at this stage.
Justin Laney, JLP partner & general manager of central transport, said: “As our online services rapidly expand, we’re working hard to meet our goal of operating a zero fossil fuel in the next 10 years.
“Our new electric vans are an ideal solution for home deliveries; the innovative design means they’re more efficient, but also respectful to the environment and the growing number of neighbourhoods in which we deliver.”
The electric vans follow the retailer’s recent announcement that it is building a dedicated biomethane gas filling station for its HGVs. This will reduce CO2 emissions by 80%, with each truck saving over 100 tonnes of CO2 every year.
Serving approximately 120 Waitrose heavy goods trucks, the vehicles will run on biomethane made from food waste and food processing waste materials rather than diesel.
Over the next seven years, the retalier's Bracknell site alone will save over 70,000 tonnes of CO2 as a result of the biomethane gas trucks.
Waitrose.com now delivers to nearly 90% of postcodes across the country via a network of shops and two (to be three at the end of this year) fulfilment centres in London.
JLP also today published its Ethics & Sustainability Progress Report.