More Than Half of Londoners Could Have Their Groceries Delivered by EV in 2010

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Sainsbury’s has been testing a fleet of 20 Smith Electric Vehicles for delivering groceries for several years and has found that they easily get the job done. Now it’s just ordered 50 more of the three and a half ton Edison vans—making the grocery chain (at least for now) the world leader in EV grocery deliveries.

Online orders will be delivered in the carbon-conscious all-electric delivery vans and will cover an area that makes it possible to serve an estimated 60% of people living in central London.

Although the US Ford-Smith electric vehicle collaboration fell apart, the European Ford and Smith Electric Vehicles collaborate on the British version. The Edison uses a Ford Transit chassis.

The 3.5 ton Edison normally has a restricted top speed of 50 mph in order to maximize the range to 100 miles per battery charge, but Sainsbury’s have arranged for a custom modification, perhaps to make the purchasing dollars go further. There are few opportunities to travel at 50 mph in central London.

This fleet will be further speed limited to 40 mph with a 60 mile range and include a fastcharge capability. The Edison can haul up to 2,600 pounds, making it ideal for inner city deliveries. The first deliveries of the new fleet are due in March.

Sainsbury customers who eschew the home deliveries in favor of actually driving over to their nearest Sainsbury’s will also have the option of plugging in their own electric vehicles at the grocery store chain: ten of the London Sainsbury stores have just installed charging points.

Upon the announcement, London Mayor Boris Johnson said, “I am determined to put London at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution as they become a mainstream choice. This is cracking news from Sainsbury’s which will help deliver to Londoners not only their groceries, but all the benefits of going electric such as cleaner air and fewer carbon emissions. It shows that a commitment to this technology even in leaner times, is good for businesses and great for our environment.”

Jolly good.

Image: Smith Electric Vehicles

Source: Sainsbury’s via Green Car Congress

Susan Kraemer

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.