Countdown has welcomed the first of five refrigerated electric delivery trucks to its online shopping service, which will eliminate approximately 135,000 kg of CO2 emissions annually.
The new trucks are part of Countdown’s overall drive to lower carbon emissions across its business, which have been steadily decreasing over the last three years. Each truck is expected to be able to drive around 220 kilometres before recharging.
The first truck, located at Countdown St Johns, will service customers in St John’s, Greenlane, Remuera, Stonefields and St Heliers. Over the coming months, four more refrigerated online delivery electric trucks will roll out in Auckland’s Grey Lynn, Newtown in Wellington, Hornby in Christchurch and Queenstown.
Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, says reducing emissions is an important focus for both Countdown and their customers as businesses and consumers become more aware of the climate crisis.
“In the last three years we’ve reduced carbon emissions across our business by almost 15 per cent. We believe that electric vehicles will play a really important part of New Zealand’s lower energy future and by investing in electric delivery trucks we’re not only generating fewer emissions, but also helping to future-proof our growing online business.
“Countdown’s online shopping service is hugely popular and we always review, tweak and change how we operate to make sure we can provide as a sustainable service as possible. Having more energy efficient trucks is a step in the right direction,” says Kiri Hannifin.
A point of difference to other major retailers is that each of the new trucks has a refrigerated unit, including a separate freezer compartment, to ensure food safety and quality, particularly in warmer weather.
“There are some additional complexities running refrigeration in an electric vehicle, however given our commitment to move towards a low carbon economy, this investment felt right.
The cost of the five trucks is around $700,000 in total. Last year Countdown was awarded an EECA grant of $387,500 to help with the cost of converting diesel trucks to electric.
As well as introducing the five electric online delivery trucks, last year Countdown introduced an electric charging station at its support office and launched 15 electric vehicle charging stations in five of their Hamilton stores, offering the service for free.