Pharmacy chain Boots has added five electric delivery vans to its UK fleet in a pilot scheme which is anticipated to extend across the country in the future.
The trial will see five Renault Kangoo iVans deployed to deliver prescriptions to customers at their homes across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire from Boots’ headquarters in Beeston, Nottinghamshire. Chargepoints for the electric delivery vans have been installed at the Beeston site with the support of Nottingham City Transport’s Ultra Low Emission Vehicle initiative. The five electric delivery vans in the pilot are equipped with Lightfoot connected vehicle technology, aimed at improving fuel efficiency and driver safety by offering real time engine analytics. If the pilot is successful, Boots intends to add further electric vans to its 900-vehicle fleet.
Boots has declared its commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its business operations, announcing earlier this year that it would begin rolling out paper carrier bags as standard in place of the traditional plastic bags. The company estimates that the introduction of the electric delivery vans in its fleet will reduce its carbon footprint by up to 22 tonnes of carbon per year.
Eddie Storr, head of supply chain pharmacy at Boots UK, said: “Running over 9,500 routes a week with a van fleet of 900, we are continually looking at ways to improve both the efficiency of our service and its environmental impact. Over the last six months, we have achieved significant mileage reductions through better route planning and the next step on our journey is to reduce our carbon footprint by introducing zero emission delivery vehicles. Following the launch in Nottingham, we are looking at other locations around the country to expand our electric fleet.”
Nottingham City Council is set to implement new electric vehicle charging infrastructure, featuring vehicle to grid technology, in a scheme supported by funding from the EU. Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Energy and the Environment Sally Longford said: “Nottingham is leading the way when it comes to green transport and, as a Council, we’re on track to convert over 20% of our fleet to ultra low emission vehicles by 2020.”