How IKEA’s Electric Delivery Fleet Is Starting To Take Shape in Australia

How IKEA’s Electric Delivery Fleet Is Starting To Take Shape in Australia

IKEA wants to be climate positive, reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than what the entire business emits. That means IKEA’s delivery fleet will need to go electric, and in Australia, we’re starting to see this take shape.

IKEA currently has 10 electric delivery vans and trucks in operation in Australia through partnerships with delivery companies, including with ANC which just unveiled Australia’s first eTukTuk. These electric delivery vehicles are all operated within the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas, picking up furniture and delivery items from distribution centres.

“We’re really driving towards that 100 per cent [electric delivery vehicles] goal,” Alexandra Kelly, the zero-emissions delivery project manager at IKEA Australia, told Gizmodo Australia.

“When you consider new vehicle types like the eTukTuk, it makes it even harder to put a number on what we’re going to need because we’re obviously exploring what options are [currently] in the market, and what we use today is probably not going to be what we use tomorrow and into the future.”

For IKEA, the eTukTuk obviously can’t carry a couch, but it’ll be more suited for metropolitan and smaller parcel deliveries.

It’s all about scaling what’s currently available to your business operation, and as the technology is constantly improving, the scale it can be used at keeps getting more ambitious.

Today, even though IKEA Australia is confident that EVs are the future of its transport fleet, the technology isn’t final and the company is open to more advancements, like with hydrogen.

But of course, IKEA can’t go through this transition alone and wants to see change at a policy level. On Monday, The Electric Vehicle Council was joined by more than 100 companies in calling on the government to introduce strong electric vehicle policies, including fuel efficiency standards and policies to bring one million EVs to Australian roads by 2027. IKEA was one of the companies involved.

“When we’re talking about policy, we look at three things. One is an incentive, so something to support either the driver or the fleet buying the vehicle because of the additional capex costs,” added Kelly.

“The second is charging infrastructure. So a lot of infrastructure investment at the moment is going towards passenger vehicles. We’d love to start seeing some of that money go to the freight and logistics centres, whether that’s at distribution centers, depots or you know, even for drivers to have charging infrastructure at home.”

“And then we hear from some of our truck partners that some of the Australian design rules are a bit restrictive, so access to models in the Australian market is limited.”

By 2025, IKEA anticipates it will need several hundred more electric delivery vehicles to meet its climate-positive goals.

“We feel that’s achievable,” Brendan Groll, IKEA Australia’s customer fulfilment strategic sourcing manager, told Gizmodo Australia.

“[Original equipment manufacturers] and vehicles are becoming available, finance solutions are becoming available, but it is going to need greater effort from the industry in general and greater support from Government partners.”

We’re starting to see more enthusiasm for electric vehicles in Australia and it’s very exciting.

I just hope IKEA put Swedish names on the sides of their electric vans and trucks, like how Coles name theirs.

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