Boots has announced it has purchased its first electric vans and will trial them in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire as part of its prescription delivery service.
Boots has purchased five electric Renault Kangoo iVans to add to its commercial fleet. The vans will be used to pick up prescriptions from the company’s Beeston site and deliver them to patient homes across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
If the trial is successful, Boots has confirmed the electric vehicle (EV) use will be expanded to other areas in the UK. edie has requested more information on the potential expansion.
Boots UK’s head of supply chain pharmacy Eddie Storr said: “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 is to introduce zero-emission delivery vehicles.
“Following the launch in Nottingham, we are looking at other locations around the country to expand our electric fleet.”
Boots UK has a van fleet of around 900 vehicles that cover more than 9,500 routes a week. The company has also taken steps to reduce mileage and improve fuel efficiency.
The five zero-emission vehicles are fitted with Lightfoot technology, which has been used by the likes of Autoglass, Aggregate Industries and South West Water to save between 12% to 15% on driving efficiency costs. The technology provides real-time engine analysis and in-van coaching to help drivers improve fuel efficiency and safety.
To support the EVs, Nottingham City Transport’s ‘Ultra Low Emission Vehicle’ Scheme’ has agreed to add charging stations on the Boots site. In fact, Nottingham City Council is set to trial new EV infrastructure, including battery storage and bi-directional chargers, as part of an EU-funded vehicle-to-grid (V2G) project.
The UK’s EV market grew by a record-breaking 19% in 2018, with one EV being registered every nine minutes.
However, the UK “lags behind” other European countries on charging infrastructure, research from consultancy firm Delta-EE has concluded. In addition, PwC has claimed that the UK’s EV stock reached 134,000 vehicles in 2017, but that there are only 13,500 charging points to support these vehicles.
To address the charging shortfall, charging network firm Engenie has unveiled fresh plans for expansion, which it claims will enable it to double the number of rapid chargers in the UK by 2024.
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